Commonwealth Games Gold medalist Sanjita Chanu sent shockwaves immediately after the tournament when a previous sample of hers was declared positive after a dope test conducted by the International Federation. The Manipur lifter had vehemently denied the charges back then. PTI reported today saying that her B Sample has returned positive as well.
Sanjita Chanu next course of action will now be to present her case before the hearing panel of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) in Hungary. She must prove her innocence in the appeal or will be facing a punishment of up to four years as is stipulated for a first time offender like her.
“The B sample test was sent to Sanjita on September 11 and we will present our case before the IWF hearing panel in Budapest. We will highlight the mistakes committed by the IWF in this case,” Sanjita’s brother Bijen was quoted as saying by PTI. “It (the international body) has admitted its mistakes. We are confident of winning the case.”
“We will fight for justice till the end. We will do whatever is available to us. She has been wronged,” he added.
Should this disciplinary hearing prove to be going against Sanjita, the next likely step would be to approach the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland. According to reports, Sanjita has till September 18 to declare whether she would be attending the proceedings in person. Should she choose not to, the proceedings can be carried out with her presence through Skype or other similar media.
Reports also suggest that she is more inclined towards being physically present. “Considering the cost involved for two persons (Sanjita and a lawyer) going to Hungary, we may send just a lawyer to represent her in the hearing in Budapest. But it is not yet finalised. We will take a call on it in the next few days,” her brother was further quoted as saying.
Sanjita tested positve for an anabolic steroid in her ‘A’ sample, taken out-of-competition in the United States on November 18 before the World Championships in 2017. The had been a mix up regarding the official number of her sample and the IWF had later been forced to accept “administrative failure.”