National discus-throw record holder Kamalpreet Kaur has been provisionally suspended for allegedly failing a dope test conducted by the Athletics Integrity Unit.
The independent body, that is set up by World Athletics, has provisionally suspended the 26-year-old from competing after testing positive for the use of the banned steroid Stanozolol.
If found guilty, Kamalpreet could be banned for up to four years after breaching Article 2.1 (Presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample, according to WADA’s anti-doping code) and Article 2.2 (Use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method).
“The AIU has provisionally suspended discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur of India for the Presence/Use of a Prohibited Substance (Stanozolol), a breach of the @WorldAthletics Anti-Doping Rules,” the AIU posted on Twitter.
Kamalpreet had competed at the Olympics, finishing sixth in rain-drenched final. However, the event that led to her qualification for Tokyo had Asian Games gold-medallist Seema Antil raise questions about the authenticity of the Punjab-thrower’s performance.
On the day Kamalpreet qualified for the Tokyo Games, former Asian Games gold-medallist Seema Antil – who finished second – had written a letter to the Athletics Federation of India asking the national body to conduct a hyperandrogenism (testosterone and other androgens) test on her compatriot.
“Judging by her physical build and extraordinary improvement, (she) doesn’t seem ‘normal,’” Antil had written in her letter, as reported by The Indian Express.
“In my career spanning more than two decades, I have not come across such improvement in any athlete. Over the last four years, this 25-year-old has improved her performance by 12-14 metres, which is unusual. Hence, I request you to conduct a hyperandrogenism test on the athlete in the interest of a level playing field, sporting spirit and meaningful competition.”
Kamalpreet later broke her own world record to set a new mark at 66.59m at the Indian Grand Prix IV in June last year.
Though it is unclear when Kamalpreet had been tested, Stanozolol has been banned since 1974 by the International Olympic Committee and World Athletics – then called the International Association of Athletics Federations. Incidentally, it’s the same drug for the use of which Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped off his 1988 Seoul Olympics 100m sprint gold medal.