Sunday, July 21, 2024

Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu gets four-year ban by NADA for failing dope test

NEW DELHI : The two-time Commonwealth Games champion and Indian weightlifter Sanjita Chanu was handed a four-year ban by India’s National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on Tuesday after she tested positive for banned drugs.

Chanu was tested during the National Games 2022 held in Gujarat in September-October and her tests came back positive for drostanolone, an anabolic-androgenic steroid prohibited by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).

Drostanolone’s primary medical use is to treat advanced inoperable cases of breast cancer in women. The steroid, however, is often misused by athletes as a performance enhancer.

NADA had provisionally suspended the Indian weightlifter from the date of her sample collection and announced the full duration of her punishment on Tuesday. The verdict means Sanjita Chanu will also be stripped of her National Games silver medal.

Chanu can still choose to appeal the ruling but seemed reluctant to go down the route.

This wasn’t the first time that Chanu found herself in the doping net. Chanu was banned by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) in 2018 after she tested positive for the anabolic steroid testosterone in a test conducted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in 2017.

The doping charges against Sanjita Chanu, however, were dropped in 2020 by the IWF due to “non-conformities” in the handling of her sample.

Chanu has been one of India’s most successful weightlifters over the past decade.

Besides her gold medals at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games, Sanjita Chanu won a bronze medal at the 2011 Asian Championships and has three gold medals at the Commonwealth Championships – in 2012, 2015 and 2017.

Last year, India’s Tokyo Olympians Shivpal Singh, Kamalpreet Kaur, Dhanalakshmi Sekar, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Navjeet Kaur Dhillon and India’s promising long jumper Aishwarya Babu were also caught in the doping net.

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