New Delhi, May 2: Discus thrower Sandeep Kumari has been slapped with a four-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit for flunking a dope test, nearly two years after her sample was deemed clean by the NDTL.
The National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) had failed to detect the banned substance -- a steroid -- which was present in her blood sample, collected by NADA officials during the National Inter-State Championships in June 2018 in Guwahati. Kumari had won the gold with a throw of 58.41m.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) then decided to test the sample of Kumari at its Montreal Laboratory in Canada and it returned positive for anabolic steroid Methenolone in November 2018. Kumari's results from June 26, 2018 to November 21, 2018 will now be annulled. Her four-year ban, announced by WADA on Friday night, will begin from June 26, 2018 -- the date of her sample collection.
Not only Kumari's but samples of four other Indians, including 2017 Asian champion quarter-miler Nirmala Sheoran had returned negative at NDTL but were found positive when tested in Montreal.
Jhuma Khatun, one of them, was also handed a four-year ban, last month. WADA referred Kumari's results management to the AIU which notified her of the charges and provisionally suspended her in November 2018.
The Haryana athlete waived her right for the confirmatory 'B' sample test and accepted the adverse analytical finding (AAF).
In February 2019, Kumari participated in an interview with representatives of AIU by phone during which she confirmed that she admitted the Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV).
In February 2020, the AIU issued a notice of charge to Kumari, asking her to either admit the ADRV or undergo a hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal. After missing three deadlines to respond, Kumari finally accepted the charge and did not request a hearing.