Athletics

Gomathi gets a four-year ban

Paying the price! Gomathi’s moment of glory last year will no longer find a place in the record books.

Paying the price! Gomathi’s moment of glory last year will no longer find a place in the record books.   | Photo Credit: IBRAHEEM AL OMARI

Asian 800m champion insists she didn’t take any prohibited substances

Gomathi Marimuthu, the 2019 Asian athletics championship 800m gold medallist, has been stripped of her medal and banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after her ‘B’ sample also returned positive for anabolic steroid nandrolone.

All of Gomathi's competition results between March 18 and May 17, 2019, stand annulled.

The Tamil Nadu athlete's medals, titles, ranking points and prize and appearance money are to be forfeited as well.

Gomathi, who was provisionally suspended in May last year when her 'A' sample returned positive, has also been ordered to pay the AIU, within 28 days, £1,000 towards legal and other expenses.

AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said: “AFI will not be involved in the case, it has zero tolerance towards doping. We are doing 1,500 tests every year. And we are also working to make doping a criminal offence,” he said.

The first draft of a Bill making drug use in sports a criminal offence, by Justice Mukul Mudgal, was ready, Sumariwalla said.

Gomathi still has the option of approaching the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), he said.

Speaking to The Hindu, Gomathi said: “I am going to appeal. I need the help of the State Government. I am confident that I didn’t take any prohibited substances. It could have possibly been in the non-vegetarian food that I had had.”

Had NADA intimated her that she had been found positive in the domestic meets before her departure to Doha, Gomathi said she would have been able to investigate and know the truth. “NADA said I tested positive in the Federation Cup and the selection trials for the Asian championship. If they had informed me earlier, and not after the Asian championships, I would have had the time and not suffer the embarrassment in Doha.”

She revealed that only her lawyer was consulted by the AIU in April as her doctor was on COVID duty.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 10:30:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/gomathi-gets-a-four-year-ban/article31781631.ece

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