Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar is gearing up to return to the competitive arena after serving a 21-month ban due to a failed dope test. Dipa Karmakar’s much-awaited comeback will take place at the Asian Games selection trials, scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar on July 11 and 12.
The 29-year-old gymnast from Tripura was included in the list of core probables by the Gymnastic Federation of India in May, with her ban officially ending on July 10. Dipa had created history as the first Indian gymnast to secure a gold medal at a global event by dominating the vault event at the Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Turkey back in 2018. She also clinched a bronze medal at Cottbus that same year.
In addition to her remarkable achievements, Dipa Karmakar is a bronze medalist at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Asian Championships in Hiroshima. However, her career faced significant setbacks due to injuries, leading her to undergo surgery for an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in 2017.
The persistent injury continued to hinder her progress, resulting in her absence from several events, including the 2019 World Championships, and failing to secure qualification for the Tokyo Games.
Earlier this year, in February, Dipa Karmakar received a ban from the International Testing Agency (ITA) after her out-of-competition dope sample, taken on October 11, 2021, tested positive for higenamine—a prohibited substance according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.
Dipa’s mentor, Bishweshwar Nandi, who played a pivotal role in her outstanding achievement of securing an unprecedented fourth-place finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics said,
“She has been training for the last 2-3 months. Now the only focus for her is doing well in the trials.”
Alongside other notable gymnasts, such as Pranati Nayak, Pranati Das, and Protistha Samanta among the women, Rakesh Patra and Yogeshwar Singh are some of the elite male athletes in contention.