Gomathi Marimuthu Provisionally Suspended after Testing Positive for Banned Substance

News18 Sports
Gomathi Marumuthu won the 800m gold at last month's Asian Championships in Doha but runs the risk of being stripped of the medal now.

Gomathi Marimuthu, India's 800m Asian Athletics Championships gold medallist, was provisionally suspended after she tested positive for a banned substance at last month's Doha Asians and the Federation Cup, which was held over a month before that.

Marimuthu was one of the best stories to come out of Doha as she won the gold medal when nobody expected her to but now, she is embroiled in a huge doping trouble after testing positive twice.

"She tested positive in both (Federation Cup and Asians)," The Hindhu quoted AFI president Adille Sumariwalla as saying.

"We have zero tolerance to doping. As far as we are concerned, she is immediately suspended provisionally. She has the right to get her 'B' sample tested. If she is innocent and her 'B' sample is okay, we take her back, otherwise, straight away she is suspended for four years."

"We tested all those who were not in the national camp when they came here for the Federation Cup but the results came late," The Hindhu quoted chief national coach Bahadur Singh as saying.

"That is also one reason why we have confirmatory trials for the non-National campers."

Marimuthu was supposed to leave for Spala from Delhi on Tuesday with other athletes for training and competition but now, the federation has stopped her from going

"I don't know what really happened, I will surely be asking for my 'B' sample to be tested," Gomathi told The Hindu from New Delhi on Tuesday evening. "I was supposed to fly to Spala (Poland) today."

On the other hand, the Rio Olympics marathon silver medallist Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa has also been provisionally suspended for breaking anti-doping rules, the IAAF's Athletics Integrity Unit announced on Tuesday.

Bahrain's Kirwa, 35, finished second behind Kenya's Jemima Sumgong in Rio 2016's marathon and was found to have the presence of the prohibited blood-booster EPO in her blood sample.

Gold medallist Sumgong was banned for eight years in January for attempting to hinder an investigation into her use of EPO by supplying false documents.