NADA bands Indian Long distance runner G Lakshmanan for two years

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Indian distance runner G Lakshmanan, a gold medalist in the 5000m and 10,000m events at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships, has been handed a two-year ban by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). The ban was imposed due to three whereabouts clause violations, including one missed test.

What happened in G Lakshmanan’s case?

Lakshmanan was included in NADA’s Registered Testing Pool (RTP) for the major part of 2022. Athletes in the RTP are required to submit their whereabouts information every quarter, detailing their regular activities and providing a 60-minute daily window during which they will be available for testing. Failure to submit this information, or to be available during the specified window, constitutes a whereabouts failure.

Lakshmanan failed to file his whereabouts information during the third and fourth quarters of 2022 and missed a test in March 2023. Any combination of three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period by an RTP athlete may result in an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV), leading to sanctions.

On August 10, 2023, NADA notified Lakshmanan of an ADRV, resulting in his provisional suspension from participating in any further events pending the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings. The NADA’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel imposed a two-year ban from August 10, 2023.

During the hearing, Lakshmanan acknowledged the filing failures regarding his whereabouts information but explained that he missed the test due to his daughter’s serious illness. He also mentioned technical difficulties while attempting to update his whereabouts information and stated that he was injured and undergoing Ayurvedic treatment during the specified period.

However, the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel deemed Lakshmanan’s explanations “unsatisfactory” and imposed a two-year ban from August 10, 2023. The panel stated, “The athlete’s explanations presented in defence are deemed unsatisfactory, as the athlete had enough time to update his whereabouts information but failed to do so”.

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