Dipa Karmakar, who is serving an anti-doping suspension on account of a whereabouts failure, is currently trying to overturn the suspension by explaining her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, according to the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI).
TOI reported on Sunday that the 29-year-old Karmakar, who became the face of Indian gymnastics with her 4th-place finish at the 2016 Olympics, is currently serving a two-year ban for her failure to honour the whereabouts guidelines as mandated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Speaking to The Bridge, GFI treasurer Kaushik Bidiwala said, "Dipa Karmakar has not been banned by FIG, she has been suspended till the time she is able to come up with adequate explanation. The case is on in court, if she can prove she had reasons, there is no suspension."
The whereabouts rule which has landed Dipa Karmakar in trouble stipulates that if an athlete in International Gymnastics Federation (FIG's) registered testing pool (RTP) commits three whereabouts failures in a 12-month period, it will constitute an anti-doping rule violation and there could be a suspension of up to two years.
Karmakar has been out of competitive action for the last three years. Her last FIG event was the 2019 World Cup in Baku.
In March this year, it was found - mysteriously - that the FIG website showed Karmakar's status as 'suspended'.
Even now, a total of nine women artistic gymnasts from India have valid licenses, as seen from the FIG website - Aruna Reddy, Pranati Nayak, Pranati Das, Papiya Das, Bidisha Gayen, Sukhnoor Kaur, Ruthuja Nataraj, Protistha Samanta and Shraddha Talekar. Karmakar's license is not available, but her biography is mentioned in the 'world class gymnasts' section. Dipa is the only Indian in that category.
GFI president Sudhir Mittal, Dipa Karmakar and her long-serving coach, Bishweshwar Nandi, who is understood to have been partly responsible for adhering to the whereabouts stipulations in the capacity of being Karmakar's 'player agent', all deigned to speak on the matter on Sunday.