14th May 2020

Negative becomes positive and leads to four year ban

Indian discus thrower Sandeep Kumari has been sanctioned with a four year ban, after a sample declared as clean by India’s National Dope Testing Laboratory (New Delhi Laboratory) returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for metenolone upon reanalysis by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The full Decision (PDF below) reveals that Kumari was tested at the 58th National Championships on 26 June 2018 and on 4 November, the Montreal Laboratory reported an AAF for metenolone.

‘We can confirm that the sample in question was extracted by WADA and re-analysed in another WADA-Accredited Laboratory as part of the New Delhi Laboratory audit’, wrote a WADA spokesperson in an email. On 20 August 2019, WADA suspended the New Delhi Laboratory ‘due to non-conformities with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) as identified during a WADA site visit, including in relation to the laboratory’s isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS) analytical method’. 

The above Decision reveals that WADA requested reanalysis of Kumari’s sample and delegated results management to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics. It is understood that WADA’s reanalysis of samples from three other athletes declared as clean by the New Delhi Laboratory have also resulted in AAFs.

The Decision reveals that although Kumari informed the AIU that she admitted the ADRV on 28 November 2018, an interview was held on 6 February 2019 in which she also admitted the ADRV to AIU representatives. Yet she was not charged until 24 February 2020, more than a year later.

‘The delay was caused by an investigation into the circumstances behind the positive test’, wrote an AIU spokesperson in an email. ‘We cannot make any further comment on the matter’. Despite repeated reminders, Kumari did not accept the charge until 20 April 2020. Her four year ban was backdated to the date of her ADRV because of ‘substantial delays’, reads the AIU’s decision, meaning she will be free to compete on 27 June 2022.

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