A two-time Commonwealth Games champion Indian weightlifter, Sanjita Chanu, has been handed a four-year ban by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for failing a dope test last year.
Sanjita had tested positive for an anabolic steroid, Drostanolone Metabolite, that is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) prohibited list during the in-competition testing at the National Games in Gujarat in September-October last year.
Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) President Sahdev Yadav confirmed the development. This is a huge setback for Sanjita, who will be stripped of the National Games silver medal as a result of the positive test.
Sanjita had won gold in the weight class of 48kg ahead of Mirabai Chanu at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. At the 2018 edition in Gold Coast, she was crowned champion in the 53kg category. The Manipuri still has the option to appeal the decision. However, it is not sure if she will choose to do so.
“I have already experienced this; why will I dope again and go through this again? I don’t know if I want to appeal or not. In both cases, I will lose. If I appeal, it will take time to clear my name, and I will miss out on the chance to qualify for the Olympics and Asian Games. If I don’t, I will be suspended,” she had told me in January.
It is not the first time that the 2011 Asian Championship bronze medalist finds herself embroiled in a doping controversy. She had been banned by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) in 2018 after she tested positive for the anabolic steroid testosterone prior to the World Championships in the US in November 2017. In 2020, however, the world body dropped the doping charge against Sanjita due to “non-conformities” in the handling of her sample.