We are utterly disappointed, says Sumariwalla on Kamalpreet testing positive for banned drug

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) was “utterly” disappointed with the news of Olympic discus thrower Kamalpreet Singh testing positive for a banned substance.

Kamalpreet Kaur in action. (File Photo)   -  Getty Images

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) was “utterly” disappointed with the news of Olympic discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur testing positive for a banned substance.

The ace athlete has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for using banned anabolic steroid Stanozolol. She faces a ban of up to four years.

The AFI president Adille Sumariwalla told Sportstar, “I am utterly disappointed. She is one of the athletes who could be the next Neeraj Chopra. The athletics fraternity looks up to her in the future to take the nation’s hopes forward. She is a medal prospect at the Olympics but this comes as a shock to us.”

In her maiden Olympics appearance, the 26-year-old Kamalpreet had finished sixth in the final with a throw of 63.7m. “We have zero tolerance for doping. Obviously it is left to the athlete to prove her innocence if the substance is found in the system,” said Sumariwalla, a former National champion of repute.

Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur provisionally suspended after positive test for banned drug  

Kamalpreet rose in stature with her astonishing improvement even as doubts were raised at the progress. From a throw of 60.25m at the Federation Cup in 2019 she dramatically threw 66.59m for a National record at the same tournament and venue two years later. Surprisingly, Kamalpreet could clear only 61.39 at the Grand Prix in Thiruvananthapuram last month.

According to experts, Kamalpreet’s technique is flawed and that was the reason for the AFI offering a foreign coach for her. It is learnt the federation was unhappy with Kamalpreet repeatedly skipping national camps. The AFI was not really happy with her arrangement to have a personal coach - Rakhi Tyagi - and not attending national camps.

“We have been putting in a lot of effort to give the best to our athletes and then they do this. We certainly lose out on a medal at the next Olympics if she is banned. She is young and can return for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics but this is a great shock to the athletics fraternity in India,” said Sumariwalla.

On its part, the AFI has been educating the athletes at every National camp on the ills of doping. “I make it a point to talk about it at every National camp and competition. In a season we test no less than 1000 samples to send a strong message. I insist that doing should be treated as a crime and the punishment should be exemplary,” emphasised Sumariwalla.

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