Indian middle-distance runner banned for four years for failing dope test

Jhuma Khatun tested positive for dehydrochloromethyl testosterone.

Jhuma Khatun was part of the Indian team that won silver in the 4x400m relay at the Asian Championships in 2011.   -  K. Murali Kumar (FILE)

Middle-distance runner Jhuma Khatun has been banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics for testing positive for dehydrochloromethyl testosterone, a steroid.

Khatun’s sample taken during the National Inter-State Championships in June, 2018, initially did not test positive for a banned substance when it was tested by the National Dope Testing Laboratory here. The World Anti-Doping Agency, then, decided to test the sample at its Montreal Laboratory in Canada and it returned positive for dehydrochloromethyl testosterone.

Khatun had won a bronze medal each in 1,500m and 5,000m at the Championships in Guwahati.

Khatun’s results from June 29, 2018 to November 21, 2018 will now be annulled.

It was not only Khatun’s sample that did not test positive when tested first at the NDTL. The samples of four others Indians, including 2017 Asian champion quartermiler Nirmala Sheoran, also tested positive for banned substances only in Montreal.

Provisional suspension

Khatun was provisionally suspended by the AIU in November, 2018. Khatun requested for the confirmatory ‘B’ sample test and accepted the adverse analytical finding (AAF). She said to the AIU that she was unsure how dehydrochloromethyl testosterone came to be present in her body.

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The AIU pressed Khatun to explain how it was present in her body.

In January, 2019, Khatun provided the AIU with her medical file, which, upon review, did not reveal the origin of the AAF. The AIU issued a notice of charge on Khatun early this month and she was offered an opportunity to admit the Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV) and accept a four-year ban, or to request a hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal by no later than April 13.

Khatun then admitted the rule violation and accepted the ban.