Sprinter Dhanalakshmi banned for three years by AIU after doping violation

Sekar Dhanalakshmi, a top sprinter from India, was given a three-year suspension by the international governing body’s Athletics Integrity Unit for failing a doping test in May. Methandienone was discovered in Dhanalakshmi’s sample that was obtained on May 2 in Antalya, Turkey recently.

The test was conducted in a lab in Lausanne, Switzerland that is recognised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). For these situations, the ineligibility period was set at four years. However, Dhanalakshmi acknowledged the doping offence and consented to the punishment, which resulted in a one-year decrease in the length of her suspension. From July 11, the date of the temporary suspension, the 24-year-old Tamil Nadu athlete will now face a three-year penalty.

“An athlete potentially subject to an asserted period of Ineligibility of four years may benefit from a one-year reduction in the period of ineligibility based on early admission and acceptance of sanction,” reads Rule 10.8.1 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules. The athlete signed the Admission of Anti-Doping Rule Violation and Acceptance of Consequences Form and returned it on July 19, 2022

“The Athlete shall therefore receive a one-year reduction in the asserted period of ineligibility pursuant to Rule 10.8.1 based on an early admission and acceptance of sanction,” the AIU said in its decision uploaded on its website.

“On the basis that the Athlete has admitted the Anti-Doping Rule Violations the AIU confirms by this decision the following consequences for a first Anti-Doping Rule Violation: a period of Ineligibility of three years commencing on 11 July 2022 (the date of Provisional Suspension), and disqualification of the Athlete’s results on and since 1 May 2022, with all resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points prizes and appearance money.”

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne will hear appeals against this AIU ruling from WADA and the National Anti-Doping Agency of India (NADA).

Dhanalakshmi qualified for the most recent Global Championships via the world rankings after running her personal best time of 22.89 seconds to win the 200m gold at the Qosanov Memorial Athletics Meet in June.Due to her drug violation, she was unable to compete in the showcase. In Chennai’s National Inter-State Championships in June, she finished first in the 200 metres with a timing of 23.27.

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