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ITA hands 21-month suspension to Olympian Dipa Karmakar due to doping

The Indian gymnast came fourth in the Vault event at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Dipa Karmakar Gymnastics

Dipa Karmakar (File Photo)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 4 Feb 2023 5:51 AM GMT

The International Testing Agency (ITA) has handed a 21-month long suspension to Olympian Dipa Karmakar for testing positive for a prohibited substance. The period of ineligibility will be in effect until 10th July, 2023.

The Indian gymnast tested positive for Higenamine from a sample which was collected on 11th October, 2021. Hence, all of the athlete's results from this date onwards have been disqualified.

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 Padma Shri awardee became a household name after she became the first Indian female gymnast to qualify for the Olympics finals of the vault event. Ultimately, she finished on a historic fourth place at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Karmakar 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.

(Updated with PTI inputs)

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