International medal-winning Indian boxer Neeraj, who was among the probables for 2020 Tokyo Olympics, has been provisionally suspended after failing a dope test. The Haryana-based boxer tested positive for performance-enhancing drug Ligandrol and other anabolic steroids.
A former national champion, Neeraj won a bronze medal at the prestigious Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria and a gold at a tournament in Russia this year. She was also a gold-medallist at this year’s India Open in Guwahati.
Her sample was collected on September 24 and was tested at Qatar’s anti-doping lab, which gave its findings earlier last month.
“As per the adverse analytical finding report dated 03/11/2019 received from Anti-Doping Lab, Qatar, Neeraj was found positive for presence of LGD-4033 (Ligandrol), Other Anabolic Agents,” the National Anti-Doping Agency stated.
“Neeraj was notified by NADA by issuing notice of charge for violation of Anti-Doping Rules 2015 of NADA and suspended provisionally,” they added.
Neeraj has accepted the findings and has declined a B sample test. “As requested by her, case of Neeraj is referred to the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel for expedited hearing,” NADA stated.
A Boxing Federation of India official said the development was conveyed to the federation last week. “We got to know last week and even though no action has been initiated against her so far, she has taken leave from the national camp and we are not aware where she is right now,” a federation official was quoted as saying PTI.
Neeraj had recently represented India at the World Championships in Russia, bowing out after a preliminary round loss. The 24-year-old was among the core group of eight boxers who were part of the Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme, and was inducted in September.