Gomathi Marimuthu gets four-year doping ban, to appeal to CAS

Gomathi Marimuthu, who won the 800m gold medal at the 2019 Asian Championships, has been handed a ban extending from May 17, 2019 to May 16, 2023.

Gomathi Marimuthu

All of Gomathi Marimuthu's competition results between March 18 and May 17, last year, stand disqualified.   -  R. Ashok

Gomathi Marimuthu, the 2019 Asian championship 800m gold medallist, has been stripped of her medal and banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after her ‘B’ sample also returned positive for anabolic steroid nandrolone.

All of Gomathi's competition results between March 18 and May 17, 2019 stand annulled. The Tamil Nadu athlete's medals, titles, ranking points and prize and appearance money are to be forfeited as well.

The decision of the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal, chaired by Anna Bordiugova, regarding the alleged anti-doping rules violation reads: "The Athlete violated ADR Articles 2.1 and 2.2, in that she had used a Prohibited Substance and that a metabolite of that Prohibited Substance was found to be present in her urine Samples.

It also says, "Ms Marimuthu faces the following charge: the use of nandrolone and the presence of 19 Norandrosterone ("19-NA") a Metabolite of nandrolone, in four urine samples, collected from her on 18 March, 13 April (2 samples) and 22 April 2019. Nadrolone (and its metabolite 19-NA) is a non-Specified substance, prohibited at all times under the WADA 2019 Prohibited List under the category S1.1B Endogenous AAS."

The estimated concentrations of 19-NA in each of the samples were found to be 416, 187, 16.2 and 99 ng/mL, respectively.

Gomathi, who was provisionally suspended in May last year when her 'A' sample returned positive, has also been ordered to pay the AIU, within 28 days, £1,000 towards legal and other expenses.

Zero tolerance

AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said: “AFI will not be involved in the case. It has zero tolerance towards doping. We are doing 1,500 tests every year. And we are also working to make doping a criminal offence."

The first draft of a Bill making drug use in sports a criminal offence, by Justice Mukul Mudgal, was ready, he added.

Gomathi still has the option of approaching the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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Speaking to Sportstar, Gomathi said: “I am going to appeal. I need the help of the State Government. I am confident that I didn’t take any prohibited substances. It could have possibly been in the non-vegetarian food that I had had,” she said.

Had NADA intimated her that she had been found positive in the domestic meets before her departure to Doha, she would have had enough time to investigate and know the truth. “NADA said I was tested positive in the Federation Cup and the selection trials for the Asian championships. If they had informed me earlier, and not after the Asian championships, I would have had the time and not suffer the embarrassment in Doha.”

She revealed that only her lawyer was consulted by the AIU in April as her doctor was busy with coronavirus duties.

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