Sanjita’s provisional ban lifted by International Weightlifting Federation

Sanjita, who won a gold medal in the women’s 53kg category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, had been tested positive for anabolic steroid testosterone.

Sanjita Chanu celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 53kg Weightlifting event during the 2018 Commonwealth Games. (File Photo)   -  PTI

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has revoked the provisional suspension on weightlifter K. Sanjita Chanu after eight months.

Sanjita, who returned a positive result for an anabolic steroid in an out-of-competition test in the run-up to the World championships in Anaheim, USA, in November 2017, was provisionally suspended on May 15 last.

In a letter to the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) on Tuesday, the IWF said that it decided to lift the provisional suspension on Sanjita “on the basis of the information at its disposal.”

“The IWF hearing panel will render its decision in due course.”

Interestingly, the decision has come after Sanjita wrote to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on January 17 requesting it to intervene as the IWF's delay in result management, even after completion of the hearing process in Budapest in October, would prevent her from taking part in the Olympic qualifiers.

“The delay in result management has already made me miss two major international events (Asian Games and World championships in 2018). It is spoiling my chance of (taking part in) Olympic qualifiers. Further, the delay amounts to mental harassment,” Sanjita, who has been highlighting some technical flaws in her case, said in the letter to WADA.

Following the revoking of the provisional suspension, 24-year-old Sanjita, who won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games last year, is now eligible to compete in any event. In case she is held guilty in the final order of the hearing panel, then all her results during this period will be annulled.

IWLF welcomed the development. “She is most welcome to the National camp and she can compete in any event now. We need such experienced lifters,” said IWLF Secretary Sahdev Yadav.

A source close to Sanjita said that she would take some time before joining the National camp. “She has not done proper training for some time. So, she is not participating in the National championships in Visakhapatnam next month. She will take some time to join the camp,” said the source.