Indian lifter Chanu faces life ban for dope

first_imgOld habits die hard. Just ten days after the Indian Weightlifting Federation borrowed Rs 1.75 crore from the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee to pay a balance fine to the international body for doping, Sanamacha Chanu has now returned a positive test.Sanamacha ChanuArguably one of India’s most successful lifters, who won a number of medals on the big stage, Chanu flunked a dope test as she tested positive for methylhexanamine, the same substance which been haunting the swimmers, wrestlers and even track-and-field athletes at home.While reams have already been written about where this ‘salt’ can be found, it is surprising how the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) and the Indian federation did not make public the result of Chanu’s test before.It is believed that Chanu was tested on August 7 in the Capital and the result came out on September 3. However, the NDTL, which has been announcing names of sportspersons failing tests with glee, did not do so this time.On the other hand, the Indian weightlifting federation has been seeking refuge in strange technicalities.A top official of the body said on Wednesday: “All weightlifters cleared the dope test barring one and the report was given to us by NADA seven days ago.” The same official is also now seeking refuge under the fact that the ‘B’ sample of Chanu is yet to be tested.Chanu was banned in 2004 for two years after she failed a dope test just before the Athens Olympics. At that time, the substance detected was a diuretic.advertisementThis time, it is a stimulant.Even as doctors, coaches and sports medicine experts have been debating at length from where the methylhexanamine is showing up in results, it is worth taking a look at what the Indian weightlifting federation buys as supplements.Some officials connected with the sport say that it is accepted that ‘Whey protein’, fat burners, glutamine, amino acid, creatinine and more supplements are being supplied to the lifters.Earlier, the Sports Authority of India was responsible for advising and administering these to the lifters. However, the Indian weightlifting federation is now buying all this directly from a supplier. There is intrigue as to why the federation is buying its supplement requirements from a company in Modinagar, Ghaziabad.Questions are being raised as to why the supplier is not from Delhi and whether these supplements are one hundred per cent safe.At the same time, it is also clear that if any of these supplements does contain any banned substance as per the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list, then all the lifters should be testing positive.The belief now is that people flunking dope tests and testing positive for methylhexanamine are certainly using additional supplements as well. Till 2009, this was fine as the substance was not on WADA’s banned list. However, there still seems to be a lack of literacy among several athletes on what is now banned and what is not.As per the rules, Chanu, a repeat dope offender, faces a life ban.Agreed, her ‘B’ sample is yet to be tested and she has not been heard, but what defence she has to offer will be interesting.The saving grace in this messy situation is that Chanu is not part of the Commonwealth Games squad. Chanu was not available for comment and her phone was switched off.last_img

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