Top Indian hammer thrower Rachna Kumari was on Tuesday banned for 12 years for failing multiple dope tests by the international federation’s Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), essentially ending her career.
The 30-year-old Kumari’s dope sample, taken out-of-competition by the AIU last year, was found to contain steroids Stanozolol, Metandienone and Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT), Clenbuterol. “The AIU has banned Kumari (K.M.) Rachna (India) for 12 years from 24 November, 2023 for the Presence/Use of a Prohibited Substance (Stanozolol, Metandienone, DHCMT, Clenbuterol). DQ results from 24 September 2023,” the AIU said in a tweet.
“…and disqualification of the Athlete’s results on and since 24 September 2023, with all resulting Consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points prizes and appearance money.” This was Kumari’s second Anti-Doping Rule Violation. She had served a four year ban from March 18, 2015 to March 17, 2019 for committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation in relation to the presence of Metenolone in a sample collected on February 10, 2015.
Her two urine samples taken out of competition in Patiala by the AIU on September 24 last year tested positive for anabolic androgenic steroids.
The AUI explained that two urine samples were collected because the first one did not have a suitable specific gravity for analysis as defined in the 2023 WADA International Standard for Testing and Investigations.
Another in-competition sample taken on November 1, 2023 by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) during the National Games in Goa returned an Atypical Finding (ATF) for Clenbuterol. NADA investigated into the matter.
In December 2023, following a request from the AIU, NADA agreed to transfer its responsibility for investigating the ATF for Clenbuterol. The AIU made the request to NADA because the two urine samples tested by the international body (AIU) also returned ATF for Clenbuterol.
The athlete failed to respond or provide any information to the AIU in relation to the investigation of the ATFs by December 22. The ATFs for Clenbuterol was then pursued as (additional) Adverse Analytical Findings in accordance with Article 5.1 of the WADA Code.
Noting that the athlete had committed first doping offence in 2015, the AIU ruled that her present case will be considered as second violation, which, however, will carry more severe sanction, including the application of aggravating circumstances.
A second dope offence normally attracts a sanction of eight-year ban but she was handed 12-year suspension because of “aggravating circumstances”.
“Pursuant to Rule 10.9.3(a), the Adverse Analytical Findings (including the ATFs brought forward as Adverse Analytical Findings) in the samples collected on 24 September 2023 and 1 November 2023 (by the NADA) will be considered together as a single (second) violation,” the AIU said in its decision.
In addition, Rule 10.9.3(a) confirms that the sanction imposed will be based on the violation that carries the more severe sanction, including the application of Aggravating Circumstances.
“The AIU considers that the presence of multiple Prohibited Substances provides clear evidence that the Athlete Used multiple Prohibited Substances and/or Used a Prohibited Substance on multiple occasions which falls squarely within the definition of Aggravating Circumstances.” The AIU added: “The four (4) year period of ineligibility otherwise applicable … shall therefore be increased in accordance with Rule 10.4.
“In accordance with Rule 10.9.1(a), the period of ineligibility to be imposed is therefore a period of Ineligibility of twelve (12) years.” The AIU issued Kumari with a Notice of allegation and imposed a provisional suspension and asked her for a written explanation for the adverse analytical findings. Kumari then requested AIU to analyse her B Sample.
When the B sample analysis also confirmed the results of the A sample, AIU issued a notice to Kumari that it “remained satisfied that she had committed Anti-Doping Rule Violations.” Kumari was part of the 68-member Indian athletics team that competed in the Hangzhou Asian Games (September 23 to October 8). She had finished ninth in the women’s hammer throw event with an effort of 58.13m on September 29.
Kumari had won gold in the National Inter-State Championships in Bhubaneswar in June with a throw of 65.03m. She had also won a bronze medal in the recent Goa National Games with a throw of 59.85m. She has not won any international medal.
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