In the wake of her four-year suspension handed by the International Wrestling Federation (IWF) after she tested positive for a banned anabolic agent, double Commonwealth Games (CWG) Gold medallist Sanjita Chanu claimed that she was innocent and said she will challenge her ban along with the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF).
Sanjita Chanu hints at a conspiracy
“I can’t believe that I have tested positive because I haven’t taken anything myself. During that period of time, I was injured. I feel the urine samples were changed. The Weightlifting Federation of India is in my favour and they will help me prove my innocence,” said Chanu, who was tested positive for testosterone.
Her brother, Bijen Kumar was also left dumbstruck after the incident and said it could be a conspiracy to discredit her.
“Why are they conveying something so important after so long? They said her e-mail id was wrong, they could have found some other means to contact us. There may be some conspiracy as well,” he said.
“I would like them to double-check for any errors on their side,” he added.
The 24-year-old, Chanu, who was also the champion of Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014, lifted 84kg in the snatch category and 108kg in the clean and jerk category to win the gold medal in the Gold Coast edition of the CWG.
Manipur CM Defends Sanjita Chanu – Writes letter to Sports Minister
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh sought the intervention of Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore in the doping controversy involving Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sanjit Chanu while also suggesting that there could be an error in the identification of the sample of the Manipuri weightlifter.
Sanjita, has been handed a provisional suspension by the International Weightlifting Federation after her ‘A’ sample tested positive for anabolic steroid testosterone.
The Manipur CM said there could have been “mixing up or exchange” of the dope sample of Sanjita taken in the United States in November last year.
“I am informed that the International Weightlifting Federation in a communication dated May 15 has provisionally suspended Manipuri international athlete Sanjita Chanu. I am given to understand that there is a glaring error in the laboratory sample identification based on which the Manipuri athlete has been suspended,” Biren said in the letter to Rathore.
“Records placed before me said that the IWF suspension communication mentioned sample number 1599000 on the top of the report while the fourth para of the report cites sample number 1599176,” he added.
He said inferring from the communication of the IWF, the sample identification was “conflicting and the report seems to be dubious.”
“It could also be a suspected case of mixing up or exchange of sample of the Manipuri athlete with some other athlete due to which two different sample numbers are quoted in the suspension order,” the Manipur CM said.
“I would sincerely urge you to kindly personally intervene in the matter and obtain a prompt review of the suspension order,” Biren said in the letter.
IWF gets tough on Doping
Recently, the International Weightlifting Federation decided to punish offending countries by limiting their quotas for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after the IOC asked them to clean the tainted sport. It was decided that countries like Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus will be given only two places each at Tokyo 2020. The new rules state that any nation with 20 or more doping violations from 2008 to 2020 will have just one man and one woman at the Games.
Countries with 10-19 doping violations over that same period will be limited to two men and two women in Tokyo. At least nine more countries, including Bulgaria, Iran and India fall into that category. This decision to limit Olympic quotas, however, will not have much impact on India as the country has not been sending more than two weightlifters each in men and women’s sections in the Olympics during the past few editions.
People should not forget that before Sanjita’s case, 12 Indian weightlifters had returned positive in tests conducted by the international federation since 2008.