IWF Admits Mistake In Sanjita Chanu Doping Row
Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu‘s report of failing dope test is a mistake, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has admitted. A committee which was handling the case has been given an acknowledgement by IWF, saying they made a mistake in giving two different sample numbers of Sanjita Chanu in its report of her failed dope test. Now, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist has demanded an inquiry.
Anish Dayal, who practices in the Supreme court and is a reputed sports lawyer said in an interview to SheThePeople, “Sanjita is absolutely right in asking for an inquiry into the discrepancy in the sample codes. These are important documents and are carefully prepared. Any such discrepancy requires an explanation than saying it’s just an administrative mistake. There have been cases where the incorrect sample may have been tested. The nature of doping law is stringent and is naturally heavily loaded against the athlete. Therefore it is accepted as a matter of principle that doping agencies have to be extra careful in their sample collection and results management.”
The IWF has admitted they had sent two different urine sample numbers in its communication of her dope test earlier this year, according to a letter that the world body sent to the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). The communication, conceding the “administrative mistake”, is in possession of PTI.
Thanks to the prompt actions of Manipur CM @NBirenSingh that this really silly "administrative error" in the dope test report of Sanjita Chanu was identified, & now acknowledge by IWF. Hope to see Sanjita back in action soon! https://t.co/s8rZqU9mpz
— Rajat Sethi (@RajatSethi86) July 26, 2018
Chanu, who has been claiming innocence since the start, has now written a letter to the international federation questioning their ability. She wants to institute an inquiry too against the harassment she had gone through in the past few months. She is seeking a probe into the matter, which started on May 15.
Dayal, who has represented many Indian athletes before the anti-doping commissions, added, “This coupled with the fact that the results were given after 6 months of testing makes it suspect. The out of competition check was in November 2017 and the notification to Sanjita was in may 2018. She must question each of these aspects.”
The IWF had sent the dope result notification to Sanjita, mentioning sample code number 1599000 as the one collected on November 17 last year at Las Vegas. In the result section, however, it was mentioned a sample code 1599176, a completely different number.
@Ra_THORe@narendramodi .. strong message should go out to the sports body for such unpardonable offense. It not only affects the morale of great sportsperson like @SanjitaChanu can be career damaging. We need to stand by our sports ambassadors. https://t.co/imYWFqjWAj
— Debarghya Saha (@2KeepUposted) July 26, 2018
The issue was discussed at the Prime Minister’s Office. The PMO then had written to the Sports Ministry, after which the IWF admitted the mistake, Indian Express reported.
NADA, in its reply to the Sports Ministry, has said that Sanjita “will need to explain before the International Weightlifting Federation hearing panel regarding the Anti-Doping Rule violation”
Sanjita had tested positive for an anabolic steroid in a test conducted during the World Championships in USA in November last year. Following the result, she has been put under provisional suspension. The NADA said, “Sample bearing Code No. 1599000 was collected on Nov. 18, 2017 during out of competition at Las Vegas, Nevada, USA by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).”
“The lab results were reported on December 20 and the sample has been reported for Adverse Analytical Finding.”
“As indicated in USADA’s notification of Jan 9, 2018, IWF will be responsible for the Results Management related to the potential Anti-Doping Rule violations arising from the results returned by sample 1599176,” the NADA said in the letter to the Sports Ministry.
“In response to a NADA email, the IWF has clarified that sample code number 1599176 in the notification is due to an administrative mistake,” the NADA said.
Reacting to this, Sanjita asked, “In one of your replies, you said ‘the second reference to another sample code in the notification letter is due to an administrative mistake. Would you please elaborate on this administrative mistake?”
“How come such a highly responsible federation makes such a grievous mistake on such a highly important document? I wish an inquiry be instituted to understand the reason behind this ‘unmistakable’ mistake,” added Sanjita.
Feature Image Credit: Alchetron