Nirmala Sheoran has once again failed to report to the national camp in Patiala. With the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha in April the next mega-event approaching, the Haryana quarter-miler risks losing her place in the relay team.
Sheoran’s absence has been noted and Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwalla re-emphasised the point that athletes not reporting to camps would find it tough to get selected into the squads for continental or global meet.
“Athletes who don’t report to national camps will find it next to impossible to get selected to the Indian squad in team events like relays or individual events,” Sumariwalla told the Indian Express.
She was not in the squad for the 4X400 metres Asian Games women’s relay, where India with a team of Hima Das, Saritaben Gayakwad, MR Poovamma and VK Vismaya won the gold medal. Sheoran finished fourth in the individual 400 metres with Hima taking the silver.
This is not the first time that she has failed to report to a national camp or to the AFI. After the World Championships in London in 2017, she was untraceable till she appeared at the Inter-State Athletics meet in Guwahati, which doubled up as an Asian Games qualification meet.
Sheoran finished second to Das, clocking a 51.25 second timing to clinch a place in Jakarta. She had then claimed that ‘personal’ and ‘family’ problems have forced her into depression, thus hampering her training.
“I did not do any suspicious thing. Because of personal and family problems, I went into depression after World Championships. There were illness in my family and other personal problems. I wanted to compete at the Commonwealth Games but then I suffered from typhoid,” she had told PTI then.
During her absence, she had missed the Federation Cup and the Commonwealth Games too. Earlier this month, three AFI officials travelled to her village in the district of Bhiwani but she had failed to turn up at Galina Bukharina’s camp despite assuring them of the same.
The National Anti-Doping Agency had also named Sheoran in its Registered Testing Pool (RTP) and her inclusion mandates that she provide her current location to NADA every three months. A failure to undergo a dope test at the provided location should lead to a missed test, at least three of which she had missed during her 10 month-absence and should have resulted in a suspension.