Former Asian silver-medallist Sumit Sangwan’s positive dope test has left the Indian boxing fraternity shocked with national coach CA Kuttappa lamenting the accomplished pugilist’s wretched luck.
The 26-year-old was crowned the 91kg category national champion in October and was preparing to return to his preferred 81kg division when it was announced that he’d tested positive for a diuretic named acetazolamide.
“He had just won the national title, was coming along nicely for the 81kg division, now this has happened. I am in shock, his track record has been clean and I would like to believe it is a mistake,” Kuttappa was quoted as saying by PTI after returning from the South Asian Games in Nepal.
“He has been so unlucky. After he won the Asian silver 2017, he got injured and that required surgery. He was once again picking himself up and I am told a mistake has led to this now,” he said.
Indian Boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva revealed that Sangwan has left the national camp in Patiala. “He has taken leave to deal with this issue. It is shocking,” he said.
The boxer, who is an Olympian [2012, London], has been incommunicado ever since his adverse report became public. A Boxing Federation of India official said it was uncertain if Sanghwan would apply for a ‘B’ sample test.
“We are waiting to hear from him. He hasn’t been communicating so we are not sure what his next step is likely to be,” he said.
Sangwan’s was the second doping blow for Indian boxing in the past week. Earlier, Neeraj Phogat had tested positive for anabolic steroids. The 24-year-old Phogat was among the core probables for the 2020 Games as part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), and was dropped from that list after the failed dope test.
“It is very uncommon in Indian boxing for elite boxers to fail dope tests. It has stunned us,” said Kuttappa.