Eight-year ban on Priyanka Panwar in doping scandal

Priyanka Panwar – the 29-year-old, Asian Games gold medalist, has been slapped with a ban of over Eight years by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) after her samples tested positive for a banned performance enhancing drug named mephentermine. The NADA disciplinary panel has found her guilty of doping the second time, earlier she faced a provisional suspension of two years and returned to the action.

Panwar, along with Tintu Luka, Mandeep Kaur and MR Poovamma won the 4*400m relay gold in Asian Games in Incheon touched a new record of 3:28:68s. She along with five other athletes had tested positive for anabolic steroids in the tests conducted by NADA in Patiala in 2011.

Last year, in July 2016, she again failed a test for a banned stimulant during a national inter-state athletics championship hosted in Hyderabad resulting in her second provisional suspension. The action had been taken from the last year’s result and the 8 year ban will be counted from the day her provisional suspension began. This ban has put a virtual end to her career. If sources are to believed, another seasoned athlete, Arjun has also been tested positive for testosterone. The verdict will be announced after hearing his case. According to the reports of  NADA, 40 athletes have been tested positive for doping this year and these number creates an alarming concern for Indian sports scenario.

SOURCES: ANI and Times Of India 






Doping agency clears Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino for immediate return to UFC action

UFC women’s featherweight fighter Cris Cyborg Justino skirted a possibly lengthy suspension when a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency committee announced it has granted her a retroactive exemption after she used a banned diuretic for medical reasons.

“I am extremely happy. I look forward to returning to the octagon as soon as possible and proving that I am still the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” the Southland-trained Brazilian Justino said. 

Jeff Novitzky, the UFC’s vice president of athlete health and performance, said the episode underlined the fairness of the due-process avenues available to UFC athletes. Justino, who has claimed she’s suffered through weight-cutting trials in the past, told the USADA that the substance she took in this case was used to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome.

“The application for a TUE was granted because the athlete had an unequivocally diagnosed chronic medical condition for which the use of Spironolactone is the appropriate standard of care,” USADA said in the statement. “Further, it was determined that the athlete and her medical team pursued and exhausted all non-prohibited alternatives and that the low dose of the medication is consistent with best medical practice to treat her condition and would return the athlete to a normal state of health without providing a performance-enhancing benefit.”

News Sources: Indian Express, New York Post

Image Source: AP

Yogeshwar Dutt’s medal to remain silver

The governing body for wrestling, United World Wrestling (UWW), announced on Tuesday that Azerbaijan’s Toghrul Asgarov, the gold medallist from the 2012 London Olympics in the 60kg freestyle, had passed the dope test, which brought Yogeshwar Dutt, the original bronze medallist’s dreams of a gold in that event to an end. Earlier, sources had claimed that Asgarov’s sample, which had been stored and recently reanalysed according to the rules of the World Anti-doping Agency’s (WADA), had tested positive for banned substances, raising Dutt’s gold chances.

Last week, it was announced that Dutt’s bronze would be upgraded to silver after Russia’s Besik Kudukhov, the original silver medallist, failed a dope test after the reanalysis. However, after this news was published last week, Dutt stated that he will let the family of Kudukhov, who passed away in a car crash in 2013, retain the silver on humanitarian grounds.

It also seems that even if Asgarov had not cleared the dope test, Dutt may not have been awarded the gold, because the other gold medallist in the event, USA’s Coleman Scott, who stayed a bronze medallist because he lost to Asgarov in the semifinals, may have been awarded the latter’s snatched gold.


With RIO Olympics being just three days away, India received a major blow with Shot Putter Indrajit Singh failing the dope test for the second time, conducted by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).  The Shot Putter’s B sample tested positive as well containing anabolic steroids.

Indrajit who is seen as a medal prospect for India after his brilliant performance in the Asian circuit last year in which he set two competition records in the Asian Grand Prix and the Universiade Championship, was visibly upset on the NDTV interview after his first results came in where he remarked, “This is a conspiracy and there is something wrong in it. This will be checked by the doctors though. I don’t want to comment on it but whoever has tried to raise their voice in this country, they are forced to shut up.”

Indrajit who has always been a direct man has landed himself in trouble before as well, when he spoke against the politics in sports in India and how badly athletes are being treated and about their poor training facilities, and which apparently had riled many powerful people in the country.”

 In these dismal times, the only ray of hope that the athlete can hope for is that Narsingh Yadav was cleared of all charges despite him failing two dope tests. But with clock running down to the Olympics, which begin on August 5, Singh might miss his flight

Russian weightlifters banned from Rio Olympics amidst doping scandal

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has banned eight Russian weightlifters – five men and three women from competing in the Rio Olympics due to doping offences.

After the samples were tested positive for doping across the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) suggested that all Russian athletes should be banned from this year’s Olympics. However, players from weightlifting and athletics have only been excluded as of now.

Tatiana Kashirina and Anastasiia Romanova were the two female weightlifters withdrawn by the Russian federation for earlier doping offences. Other players’ names are yet to be announced by the IWF.

“We would like to highlight the extremely shocking and disappointing statistics regarding the Russian weightlifters. The integrity of the weightlifting sport has been seriously damaged multiple times and levels by the Russians, therefore an appropriate sanction was applied in order to preserve the status of the sport,” said a statement on the IWF website.

The IOC has faced criticism for not ordering a blanket ban on Russia after an independent report by BBC said there was state-organised doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The IOC executive will be meeting over the next two days to discuss the issue.

Bolt strikes London

Double Olympic champion Usain Bolt celebrates in his traditional fashion after winning the 100m | Image source: bbc.co.uk

Midst all the doping controversy surrounding athletics, Usain Bolt produced the season’s best time in the men’s 100 meter sprint in the Anniversary Games in London.

The Jamaican out-sprinted American Michael Rodgers and fellow countryman Nesta Carte when he crossed the line recording a time of 9.85 seconds. The Anniversary Games marked exactly one year since last year’s Olympic ceremony kicked off.

The 60,000-odd crowd in the Olympic stadium were all set to witness a tee-off between world-record holder Bolt and Britain’s No. 1 James Dasaolu. Unfortunately, the Brit had to withdraw even before the race began, nursing a hip injury.

Bolt will now be looking to defend his World Championship crown in Moscow next month.