Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Dipa Karmakar on failed dope test: ‘One of the longest battles of my career comes to an end’

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India’s gymnast Dipa Karmakar has reacted to the news of her failed dope test, saying “one of the longest battles” of her career has ended. There had been reports suggesting Dipa hid her whereabouts from World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

However, Dipa on Saturday took to social media to rubbish those reports. In October 2021, Dipa failed a dope test and was handed a ban for 21 months by International Testing Agency (ITA), an independent non-profit organisation that handles anti-doping test procedures for the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

Dipa tested positive for higenamine, a beta-2 agonist, which means it is prohibited for consumption at all times, both in and out of competition. “Today marks the end of one of the longest battles I have fought for myself and my career,” Dipa wrote in a social media post. “In October 2021, my sample was obtained for out-of- competition testing and sent for assessment.

The result was positive for a banned substance which unknowingly ingested and could not determine the source of. I decided to take a provisional suspension with the hope of a swift resolution with the international federation.

“I am happy that the matter has been amicably resolved My suspension has been reduced by 3 months and back dated by 25 months, allowing me to return to the sport I love in July 2023,” added Dipa.”Multiple media reports have speculated that I was under a 2-year suspension for failing to inform WADA of my whereabouts through the Anti-Doping Administration Management System (ADAMS). However, I would like to clarify that these are false and inaccurate and do not reveal the true facts and nature of the matter.

“It has been distressful to not know how the substances entered my body, however, more so to be in a position where my ethics have been questioned. Never in my career has the thought of consuming a banned substance crossed my mind Gymnastics is all I have. and would never do anything which would bring myself or my country into disrepute. Cannot wait to get back on the floor!” Dipa concluded.

Higenamine is a beta-2 agonist, which means it is prohibited for consumption at all times, both in and out of competition. “Dipa Karmakar has been suspended for a 21-month period, effective until 10 July 2023 after testing positive for higenamine. The case was resolved via a case resolution agreement pursuant to article 10.8.2 of the FIG Anti-Doping Rules,” ITA said on their website.

According to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), higenamine has mixed adrenergic receptor activity, meaning it can act as a general stimulant. Higenamine, which was added to the prohibited list of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), can act as an anti-asthmatic to open up airways. It may also be cardiotonic, which means it can strengthen heart contraction to increase cardiac output.

The 21-month suspension will keep Dipa out of all tournaments in the Apparatus World Cup Series and at least three of the six World Challenge Cup Series. The 29-year-old athlete will be eligible for the Olympics qualifier event World Championships 2023 in Antwerp starting Sept. 23. Dipa rose to fame after she became the first Indian gymnast to compete in the Olympics. Hailing from Tripura, Dipa made history as she finished fourth in the women’s vault final at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The Indian star missed the bronze medal by a whisker with a score of 15.066 points, only 0.150 points less than bronze medal winner Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Dipa clinched bronze medal, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to do so. She also bagged bronze at the Asian Gymnastics Championships and finished fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships- both firsts for her country.

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