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Gymnast Dipa Karmakar suspended for 21 months after testing positive for banned substance

Published at :February 4, 2023 at 5:55 AM
Modified at :February 4, 2023 at 5:55 AM
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Joseph Biswas

The suspension started on October 11, 2021, onwards.

Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has been suspended for a 21-month period, effective until July 10, 2023, for use of a prohibited substance, the International Testing Agency (ITA) confirmed on Friday.

Karmakar, who is the first Indian gymnast to participate in the Olympics, tested positive for Higenamine (S3. Beta-2 Agonists as per the Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list). The positive sample was collected on behalf of the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 11 October 2021.

Reports said that Higenamine acts as a general stimulant. It helps the lungs take in more oxygen and is prohibited in and out of competition.

A statement from the ITA said that "the case was resolved via a case resolution agreement pursuant to article 10.8.2 of the FIG Anti-Doping Rules (FIG ADR, and equivalent provision in the World Anti-Doping Code). The athlete’s results have been disqualified from 11 October 2021 onwards."

Dipa Karmakar first came into prominence at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where she clinched a bronze medal after performing the dangerous and difficult Produnova vault. The bronze medal made her the first Indian woman and second Indian overall to win a CWG medal in gymnastics.

Her success story continued at the Rio Olympics where she came fourth, missing out on a medal by bare margins. She also bagged bronze at the Asian Gymnastics Championships and finished fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, both a first for India in the sport.

Thereafter she struggled with a knee injury and underwent surgery ruling her out for a major part of 2018. During this period she missed the 2018 Commonwealth Games and also failed to qualify for the 2018 Asian Games.