The Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) of the World Athletics has imposed a four-year ban on sprinter Gomathi Marimuthu, who won the gold medal in the women’s 800 m event at the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships held in Doha, Qatar with her personal best timing. Gomathi had won gold with a timing of 2 minutes and 2.70 second.
In her defence, Gomathi could not prove the point of tampering with the samples. A provisional ban was imposed on her from 17 May 2019, which will now end on 16 May 2023. Gomathi will lose her gold medal which she won at the Asian Championship last year.
The sprinter also has to pay a fine of 1,000 pounds, which stands at Rs 1 lakh, which will be paid to the AIU. The highlight of her case is that all her four samples were found positive of carrying Steroid 19 nor androsterone, which was collected during the Federation Cup in Patiala on March 18 and then two samples during the selection trials before the Doha Asian Championships in April last year. The first three samples were taken by NADA, whose report came late and Gomathi was sent to play at Doha.
Questions raised on NDTL
The NDTL lab, which was banned by WADA, was cordoned off in defense by Gomathi. She had three samples tested by NDTL and one sample test at Doha Lab. In two of the samples in NDTL, she raised questions about the amount of sample, while in Doha, she raised questions about the sample temperature. She presented a professor from Chennai to AIU as an expert. However, his arguments did not save Gomathi from being banned.