India’s fastest woman athlete Dutee Chand gets 4-year ban for failing dope test

India’s fastest woman athlete Dutee Chand who has two Asian Games silver medals received a four-year ban from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). The international sprinter was provisionally suspended in January 2023 after the officials found “anabolic agents/SARMS” in her urine samples. The substances are listed under the “WADA’s 2023 prohibited list of non-specified substances”.

The ban on Dutee Chand will be effective from 3 January 2023 and the results of all her competitions will be scrapped from 5 December 2022- the day she went her first test. The athlete is not satisfied with the punishment and is expected to challenge the same.

Parth Goswami, the counsel of Dutee Chand talked with news agency PTI and affirmed that she had been a “clean athlete” throughout her career and it was a case of “unintentional consumption”.

“For us, this is a clear case of unintentional consumption of a banned substance. We were clearly able to establish the source of the substance in the body, which is substantial proof of a lack of intent. The substance was never used to gain any sporting advantage,” said Goswami.

“We are in the process of filing an appeal. We are hopeful that we will be able to convince the appeal panel,” he added.

Inconsistencies in athletes’ defense

NADA’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel gave a detailed order and said that it found several inconsistencies with the submission offered by the athlete and the witnesses in the case.

“The athlete and her counsel had without refuting the findings of the NDTL (National Dope Testing Laboratory) report stated that the consumption of the said substance was unintentional and the ingestion of the same had been advised by the physiotherapist who was being regularly consulted by the athlete,” said the ADDP order as per news agency PTI.

“The athlete and her counsels submitted that the said physiotherapist had been attached with the athlete from the Pullela Gopichand Academy where the athlete was training under special permission,” the order mentions.

It added that the athlete “delegated the task of purchasing the drugs to her friend” who was also a witness in the case.

“(The witness) before giving his deposition had submitted an affidavit where he stated that he himself went to the shop to buy the said supplement for hormonal disbalance but, on the contrary, during his cross-examination (the witness) denied buying the said supplement in person but rather re-delegating to his manager,” ADDP noted.

“The admitted fact on the affidavit placed before the ADDP and the cross-examination of the witness highlights there are glaring contradictions in the fact put forth before the panel by the witnesses, thereby raising legitimate concerns regarding the reliability of the statements made by the witness,” said ADDP order.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Updated: 18 Aug 2023, 08:53 PM IST

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