Indian weightlifter Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu, two-time gold medal winner in Commonwealth Games has been handed a provisional ban by India’s National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) after she tested positive for a banned drug.
She may get a four-year suspension for her offence if found guilty and would lose her National Games Silver as well. The NADA stated that Sanjita Chanu, 28, had her urine sample tested which returned positive for drostanolone, an anabolic–androgenic steroid prohibited by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA). The Indian weightlifter has been provisionally suspended from the date of her sample collection.
Drostanolone’s primary medical use is to treat advanced inoperable cases of breast cancer in women. The steroid, however, is often misused by athletes to enhance their performances.
Sanjita Chanu, who hails from Manipur, is one of India’s most successful weightlifters in the past decade.
Apart from winning gold medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and also the 2018 edition, Sanjita Chanu won a bronze medal at the 2011 Asian Championships and has three gold medals at the Commonwealth Championships won in 2012, 2015 and 2017.
Sanjita Chanu was banned by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) in 2018 after she tested positive for the anabolic steroid testosterone in a test conducted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in 2017.
The doping charges against Sanjita Chanu were dropped in 2020 by the IWF due to “non-conformities” in the handling of her sample.
“I have been in this situation before. But I am not able to understand how this has happened,” Sanjita Chanu told PTI.
“Since that incident (ban in 2018), I have been very careful about my diet and everything. I check my supplements carefully,” Sanjita Chanu said in her defence.
Sanjita Chanu will now appear before NADA’s anti-doping disciplinary panel to prove her innocence. If found guilty, she will likely be handed a four-year suspension and will be stripped of her National Games 2022 silver medal.