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Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sanjita Chanu’s B sample returns positive

Commonwealth Games gold medallist lifter Sanjita Chanu’s ‘B’ sample has also tested positive, putting paid to her hopes of fighting her case based on an ‘administrative lapse’ the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) made in naming her exact sample no. in their communication.

In a letter to the Indian Weightlifting Federation and Sanjita Chanu, IWF legal counsel Eva Nyirfa on Tuesday informed them of the ‘B’ sample also returning positive.

“You are required to inform us latest until 18 September whether the Athlete wishes to request a hearing before the IWF Hearing Panel,” Nyirfa wrote.

While Sanjita has agreed to appear for hearing to ‘proof her innocence,’ she has also requested IWF to provide the complete laboratory documentation package of her Sample B analysis. IWF said it has forwarded the request to the laboratory.

The Manipur lifter, who failed an out of competition dope test for anabolic steroid (testosterone) in November 2017 prior to World Championship in Las Vegas in USA, was provisionally suspended and is now staring at a four year suspension if prove guilty during hearing.

Her A sample positive report came only on May 15, after she had participated in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and won a gold medal in women’s 53kg category.

Since the disclosure, Sanjita has claimed innocence. Her claims gained ground when it came to light that the international body in its communication to the Indian national federation on May 15 referred to two different sample numbers (sample no. 1599000 and sample no 1599176) while informing about Chanu’s doping offence. IWF mentioned sample code number 1599000 as the one collected on November 17 last year at Las Vegas while sample code 1599176 was mentioned in the results section.

Sanjita wrote to IWF, seeking a probe into the issue. She also sent a letter to the PMO and the sports ministry to look into her case, which was then directed to NADA.

The IWF replying to the clarification sought by NADA admitted to the ‘administrative mistake’ but also stressed that Chanu’s sample had tested positive.

NADA, in its reply to the Sports Ministry, said that Sanjita “will need to explain before the International Weightlifting Federation hearing panel regarding the Anti-Doping Rule violation”.

Sanjita wrote back to IWF demanding a probe into the whole fiasco.

In her letter to IWF on Wednesday, Sanjita has asked for a chain of documents, including a request to share the athlete’s name whose sample no (1599176) ‘mistakenly’ appeared in her suspension order.

“I would like to request you to provide the complete and comprehensive chain of custody and laboratory documentation package of A and B sample of sample code no. 1599000

“The previous documentation package of Sample A which was received from your office is incomplete and hence I request you to provide complete details of both the A and B sample,” Sanjita wrote to Eva Nyirfa.

“Secondly, I have a confusion on the term “in person” in the first two options of hearing. Madam, does it also include attending the hearing by my representative? Or, does it mean only the athlete?

She also asked for more time till September 17 to choose the hearing option. “As I am yet to get the complete documentation package of Sample A and B, I request you to give more time. Preferably, after getting and analyzing the laboratory”

“I have already requested you through my earlier email to share the athlete name whose sample number is 1599176. As the number had been (though mistakenly) appeared in my suspension order, I assume it’s my right to know him/her. This will help me in convincing how the mistake was occurred.”

Despite failing dope test last year in November, the national governing body in weightlifting said, Sanjita will not lose her medal as the report of positive test came after the CWG.

Sahdev Yadav president of national federation said: “It’s not our fault. Had we got information earlier we would have dropped Sanjita from the national squad and replaced her with another lifter. Our second bench was equally good to win gold medal.”

The 24-year-old Indian lifter had also won gold in 2014 CWG in 48kg.

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 23:34 IST

Source: HindustanTimes

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