Star gymnast Dipa Karmakar has been handed a 21-month ban for failing a dope test conducted by the International Testing Agency. This is contrary to claims made by Indian officials that her “suspension” last year was not related to doping offence.
Dope sample had Higenamine
Karmakar’s dope sample collected out-of-competition by the ITA, an independent organisation that manages the anti-doping programme of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), was found to contain Higenamine, which is a prohibited substance under World Anti-Doping Agency Code. Her ban period will, however, end on July 10 this year as it was counted from the day (October 11, 2021) the sample was collected.
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“The ITA confirms that Dipa Karmakar has been suspended for a 21-month period, effective until 10 July 2023 after testing positive for higenamine (S3. Beta-2 Agonists as per the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list),” the ITA said in a statement late on Friday. “The positive sample was collected on behalf of the FIG in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 11 October 2021,” it added.
The Switzerland-based non-profit organisation works under the supervision of WADA and International Olympic Committee to implement anti-doping programmes for various international federations.
The ITA further said Karmakar’s dope issue was resolved under a case resolution agreement pursuant to article 10.8.2 of the FIG Anti-Doping Rules and equivalent provision in the WADA. “The athlete’s results have been disqualified from October 11, 2021 onwards.”
Shot to fame in 2016 Rio Olympics
Karmakar, who shot to fame after finishing fourth in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the vault event, has been struggling with injuries ever since she underwent a surgery to treat an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in 2017.
Her last FIG event was the 2019 World Cup in Baku. The ban on Karmakar flies on her face as well as on the Gymnastic Federation of India officials who have been claiming ignorance after she was put in the “suspended” category by the FIG in February last year.
GFI president Sudhir Mittal had then said that he had not received any communication from the FIG regarding her suspension. Karmakar herself and her coach Bisheshwar Nandi kept quiet at that time.
Other GFI officials went to the extent of saying that the “suspended” status could be due to other issues, like ethical or disciplinary, not related to doping violation.
(With Agency inputs)