Dope shame returned to Indian Weighlifting as Sanjita Chanu, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the 53kg Women’s category, was tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid and was provisionally suspended by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).
“IWF reports that the sample of Ms. Sanjita Chanu Khumukcham (IND) has returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for Testosterone (S1.1 Anabolic Agents). As a consequence, the Athlete is provisionally suspended in view of a potential anti-doping rule violation,” IWF stated.
Sanjita has been asked to leave the national camp by the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) after the dope result reached the national body. She left for Manipur from SAI Centre at Shilaroo in Himachal Pradesh where the weightlifters were training for the upcoming Asian Games.
“The sample was taken out-of-competition in the US prior to the World Championship. But we don’t understand why the dope result took so long. After the sample was taken, she competed in the World Championship in November last and then she won a gold in the Gold Coast CWG in April. We will fight it out why this is happening,” IWLF Secretary General Sahdev Yadav said.
Recently Sanjita has been included in the Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme for funding for her Asian Games preparations. But her name could be excluded if she is finally ruled to have committed a dope offence.
However, Sanjita herself is positive about proving her innocence. “I am innocent, I have not taken any banned substance. I will challenge this with the help of the national federation,” she said to PTI.