NADA reimposes ban on quartermiler MR Poovamma, admits mistake
At the Indian Grand Prix 5 on Sunday, Poovamma, who has figured in the start lists, has been prohibited from competing as NADA wrote to the AFI, admitting its mistake by naming her in the 'eligible' list of Indian athletes.
MR Poovamma, who competed as an unattached athlete at the Sri Lanka National Championships in July after serving a two-year doping ban, has found herself banned again.
On June 16, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) informed the Athletics Federation of India that the two-year ban period imposed on Poovamma, which became operative on February 18, 2021, ended, and she was eligible to compete again.
But, in a dramatic turn of events at the Indian Grand Prix 5 on Sunday, Poovamma, who has figured in the start lists in women's 400 metre, has been prohibited from competing as NADA wrote to the Athletics Federation of India, admitting its mistake by naming her in the 'eligible' list of Indian athletes.
At the Sri Lanka meet, Poovamma had clocked 55.84 seconds to finish second in heat number one. She finished seventh in the final with a timing of 56.20s.
Earlier this year, the AFI had queried about the Karnataka athlete's eligibility status to NADA after the Anti-Doping Appeal Panel (ADAP) increased her suspension from three months to two years in September last year.
According to a Sportstar report, NADA has issued a corrigendum, stating a mistake in its communication to the AFI about the period of suspension and ineligibility period. And Poovamma's suspension will end on June 15, 2024, according to the report.
33-year-old Poovamma's sample collected on February 18, 2021, had returned positive for stimulant methylhexaneamine, a specified substance under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.
In 2023, several Indian athletes were suspended by NADA, which forced the sports ministry to make multiple changes in the Asian Games bound contingent after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) cracked down on the Indian body's faulty procedure in conducting dope testing. Dutee Chand and Hima Das are among the top names who were suspended.