Other Sports

Sanamacha Chanu banned for eight years

The National Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel has handed out an eight-year ban to weightlifter Sanamacha Chanu for a second doping offence.

This is the first case of a batch of a dozen sportspersons who had tested positive for stimulant methylhexaneamine that has been disposed of by the panel. All other cases are of first violation.

Chanu had tested positive for a diuretic at the Athens Olympics in 2004. The eight-year suspension now has practically signalled the end of the career of this 31-year-old Manipuri lifter, a former Asian and Commonwealth Games champion.

Chanu's eventual sanction would have been dealt with under Article 10.4 of the Code which pertains to ‘specified substances' that prescribes a reduced sanction, had she been able to establish how the substance got into her body.

The panel, headed by retired judge Dinesh Dayal, found no grounds to apply Article 10.4, which could have given her a four-year suspension, and instead applied Article 10.7 that deals with a second offence for a ‘standard' violation.

This meant that Chanu's violation, even though for a ‘specified substance', was treated just as it was for any other violation that entails a two-year ban for a first offence. From 2009, the Code prescribes a range of ‘warning' to two-year suspension for a first offence for a ‘specified substance' compared to the maximum one-year earlier.

“The athlete has failed to establish how the substance entered her body. She has been insisting throughout that she has only been taking supplements provided by SAI. The report obtained from SAI clearly shows that none of the supplements provided by SAI contains any prohibited substance.

“All precautions are taken by SAI before procuring the supplements and the products given to the athletes are subjected to rigorous standards of testing,” the panel wrote in its order on Tuesday.

The methylhexaneamine violations had attracted wide attention prior to the recent Commonwealth Games. The re-classification of the substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), from ‘non-specified' to ‘specified' enabled the athletes to have their provisional suspensions lifted, and some of them competed in the Commonwealth Games.

Three of the wrestlers and an athlete who tested positive for methylhexaneamine are currently part of the Indian contingent in the Asian Games in Guangzhou. All the pending hearings of methylhexaneamine cases are expected to be resumed next month.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:13:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/Sanamacha-Chanu-banned-for-eight-years/article15689146.ece

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