Middle distance runner Jhuma Khatun, who was part of the Indian team that won silver in the 4x400m relay at the Asian Championships in 2011, has been banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit of the world governing body for testing positive for a banned substance – steroid. Khatun has been banned in a nearly two-year-old doping case which the NDTL had failed to detect. Also Read - Athletics Committed to Addressing Barriers to Growing Sport as More Than 10,000 Join Global Conversation

Khatun’s dope sample was collected during the National Inter-State Championships in June 2018 in Guwahati returned negative when it was tested by the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) in Delhi. The 31-year-old had won a bronze each in 1500m and 5000m in that Guwahati meet. Also Read - Russia Banned From Tokyo Olympics, 2022 Winter Games

But, unsatisfied with the results – the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) then decided to test the sample of Khatun at its Montreal Laboratory in Canada and it returned positive for dehydrochloromethyl testosterone. Khatun results from June 29, 2018 to November 21, 2018 will now be annulled. Also Read - Olympians Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Could Have Been Successful IPL Players

It was not only Khatun’s sample but also of other four Indians, including 2017 Asian champion quarter-miler Nirmala Sheoran, whose dope samples returned negative at NDTL but found positive when tested in Montreal.

WADA referred Khatun’s results management to the AIU which notified Khatun of the charges and provisionally suspended her in November 2018. Khatun waived her right for the confirmatory ‘B’ sample test and accepted the adverse analytical finding (AAF).

She, however, informed AIU that she was unsure how dehydrochloromethyl testosterone came to be present in her body. The AIU pressed Khatun to explain how the banned substance was present in her body.

In January 2019, Khatun provided the AIU with her medical file, which, upon review, did not reveal the origin of the AAF. The AIU issued a notice of charge on Khatun early this month and she was offered an opportunity to admit the Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV) and accept a four year period ban, or to request a hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal by no later than April 13.

Khatun then admitted the ADRV and accepted the four-year ban.

(With Agency Inputs)