Gomathi Marimuthu expresses shock over testing positive

Question marks arises over National Anti-Doping Agency's (NADA) sleeping over Gomathi Marimuthu's positive dope test for more than a month

Gomathi is yet to decide on her next course of action after her provisional ban.   -  R. Ashok

Indian athlete Gomathi Mairmuthu, who surprised many by winning the 800m gold medal at the Asian Championships in Doha last month, says she is in a state of shock after testing positive for a banned substance.

"I am shocked to find out about the results," Gomathi told Sportstar over the phone. “I will surely be asking for my ‘B’ sample to be tested. I was supposed to fly to Spala (Poland) today.”

Yet to hear from the AFI, Gomathi said: "No one has contacted me yet. I found out about the test result from the newspaper."

READ | Asian C’ships gold medallist Gomathi fails dope test

Stan Rayan from Kochi adds:

Impressed by her time in the two-lapper, the Athletics Federation of India had planned to train her for the 4x400m relays too. And Gomathi was supposed to leave for Spala on Tuesday with a bunch of athletes for training and competition but the federation has now stopped her from going.

Gomathi’s struggles in life had been one of the best stories to emerge from the Doha Asians. She has been in the form of her life, first winning the gold at the Federation Cup in 2:03.21 and then improving it to a personal best 2:02.70s in Doha for her maiden Asian title. That gold brought her an automatic berth for this September’s World championships in Doha.

But Gomathi, who was not a national camper, would not even have made it to Doha if the results of the dope tests taken during the Federation Cup held in Patiala from March 15 to 18 had come on time.

PROVISIONALLY SUSPENDED

“She tested positive in both (Federation Cup and Asians),” confirmed Adille Sumariwalla, the AFI President. “We have zero tolerance to doping, as far as we are concerned, she is immediately suspended provisionally. She has the right to get her ‘B’ sample tested, if she is innocent and her ‘B’ sample is okay, we take her back, otherwise, straight away she is suspended for four years.”

“We tested all those who were not in the national camp when they came here for the Federation Cup but the results came late,” said Chief National Coach Bahadur Singh. “That is also one reason why we have confirmatory trials for the non-National campers.”

WHY DID NADA SLEEP OVER POSITIVE TEST?

India could now lose one of the three golds it had won at the Doha Asians and this could lead to a lot of embarrassment, something which could have been avoided if the results had come on time.

The big question now arises: Why did the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) sleep over a positive dope test for more than a month?