Himani Chandel tests positive in doping test, banned for four years


Indian sprinter Himani Chandel has been handed a four-year suspension due to a doping offence. This suspension comes into effect from June 15, 2023.

Chandel tested positive for the steroid Drostanolone after she secured her personal best in the 100m event, clocking in at 11.69s during the 26th National Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships held in Ranchi in May 2023. This performance had initially earned her a place in the Indian 4×100 team for the Asian championships in Bangkok. However, following the revelation of her doping violation, she, along with Archana Suseendran, another athlete found guilty of doping, were dropped from the team.

How does Himani Chandel’s suspension impact Indian Athletics?

The suspension of Chandel is a significant blow to Indian athletics, which has been grappling with a growing list of doping violations. Other notable athletes currently serving suspensions include Dutee Chand, Dhanalakshmi Sekhar, Archana Suseendran, M. V. Jilna, Taranjeet Kaur, Kamaljeet Kaur, and Diandra Valladares. This trend is alarming and indicates the need for increased awareness and more vigilant testing to prevent such occurrences in the future.

India has recently surpassed Russia as the leading dope offender, according to a report released by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). In 2022, India tested a total of 3,865 samples — urine, blood, and dried blood spot (DBS) combined — during the selection period that began on January 1 and ended on December 31. Out of these, 125 returned Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs), with 49 of them being athletics samples.

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