Sanjivani gets two-year doping ban, to lose her Asian medal

The 23-year-old won the 10,000m bronze at the 2019 Asian Championships and 5000m bronze in the 2017 edition.

Sanjivani Yadav (c) has been handed a two-year suspension. (File Photo)   -  K. Murali Kumar

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has handed a two-year suspension to 23-year-old long distance runner Sanjivani Jadhav for testing positive for probenecid, a banned substance under the category Diuretics and Masking Agents, in-competition twice last year.

Sanjivani, whose urine samples collected during the TCS World 10k (Bangalore, May 27, 2018) and National inter-state athletics championships (Guwahati, June 29, 2018), said that she had not taken probenecid knowingly.

The athlete had requested for testing of her supplements declared on the doping control forms to which AIU agreed.

However, the test results confirmed that no prohibited substance was detected in the supplements, thereby ruling out the possibility of Sanjivani testing positive because of the consumption of the declared supplements.

The AIU, which implements the IAAF anti-doping rules, charged Sanjivani with committing anti-doping rule violations and offered her an opportunity to either admit the anti-doping rule violation and accept a two-year- suspension or request a hearing before a disciplinary panel.

Sanjivani admitted to the doping violation.

She, nevertheless, requested for a reduction in her period of ineligibility on grounds such as the concentration of probenecid was too low to be used as a masking agent, she suspected the prohibited substance might have entered her body due to use of contaminated ayurvedic medicines and she never cheated.

While noting that Sanjivani “failed to disclose the use of ayurvedic medicines on dope control forms,” AIU, in its order released on Thursday, said there was no evidence to support her claim that these medicines contained the banned substance.

Considering that the athlete admitted to the doping violation, the AIU handed her two years’ suspension for her first offence.

It ordered that Sanjivani’s results at the TCS World 10k, National inter-state meet and events following that would be “disqualified” and titles, awards, medals, points and prizes won would be forfeited.

As a consequence, Sanjivani will lose her 10,000m bronze medal achieved in the Asian championships in Doha in April this year.

The decision is appealable.