Indian weightlifting ace Sanjita Chanu, who is a two time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, has been banned for a period of four years by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) for failing her dope test.
The 29-year-old lifter, who hails from Kakching district in Manipur, underwent an in-competition testing during the National Games, which was held in Gujarat in between September and October, where Sanjita had clinched silver.
The results have shown that traces of Drostanolone Metabolite – an anabolic steroid, classified under the World Anti-doping Agency’s (WADA) list of prohibited substances, were detected in her samples.
As a result, the lifter has been slapped with a four year ban from the sport, and she will also be stripped from her silver at the Nationals.
“Yes, she has been handed a four-year ban by NADA,” Sahdev Yadav, president of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF), confirmed to PTI.
While Sanjita is yet to be reached for her statement on the matter, back in January she expressed skepticism about the decision of making an appeal.
“I have already experienced this, why will I dope again and go through this again? I don’t know if I want to appeal or not. In both cases I will lose,” said Sanjita at that time. “If I appeal it will take time to clear my name and I will lose out on the chance to qualify for the Olympics and Asian Games. If I don’t I will be suspended.”
In 2014, Sanjita tasted gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where she was crowned champion in the 48 kg category. Four years later at the Gold Coast CWG, she once again clinched another gold, this time in the 53 kg category. She is also a three-time Commonwealth Championships gold medallist and also won bronze at the 2011 Asian Championships.
However, this is bnot the first time that Sanjita has been involved in doping controversy. Back in 2018, she was banned International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) after failing test before the World Championships in 2017. However, the IWF had later lifted the ban in 2020 citing “non-conformities” in her sample handling.
“I have been in this situation before. But I am not able to understand how this has happened. Since that incident, I have been very careful about my diet and everything. I check my supplements carefully and ask if they are free of all dope,” Sanjta commented earlier.