Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has admitted to "unknowingly ingesting banned substance" after being suspended for 21 months for the use of a prohibited substance.
The 29-year-old Tripura girl was tested positive for higenamine (S3. Beta-2 Agonists as per the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list) which was found in her dope sample. The positive sample was collected on behalf of the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 11th October 2021. Higenamine was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited substances in 2017.
"Today marks the end of one of the longest battles I have fought for myself and my career. In October 2021, my sample was obtained for out-of-competition testing and sent for assessment. The result was positive for a banned substance which I unknowingly ingested and could not determine the source of. I decided to take a provisional suspension with the hope of a swift resolution with the international federation," wrote Karmakar on Twitter.
Karmakar's ban period will end on the 10th of July 2023 as it was counted from the day the sample was collected which is the 11th of October 2021.
"I am happy that the matter has been amicably resolved. My suspension has been reduced by 3 months and backdated by 2.5 months, allowing me to return to the sport I love in July 2023," wrote Dipa Karmakar.
The ban means the 29-year-old will miss all the tournaments in the Apparatus World Cup Series and at least three of the six World Challenge Cup Series. She will be eligible for the Olympics qualifier event World Championships 2023 in Antwerp starting September 23.
"It has been distressful to not know how the substances entered my body, however, more so to be in a position where my ethics have been questioned. Never in my career has the thought of consuming a banned substance crossed my mind. Gymnastics is all I have, and I would never do anything which would bring myself or my country into disrepute. Cannot wait to get back on the floor!" added Dipa Karmakar.
Karmakar is the first Indian gymnast to compete in the Olympics. The Tripura girl made history by finishing fourth in the women's vault final at the Rio Olympics 2016, missing the bronze medal by a whisker with a score of 15.066 points, only 0.150 less than bronze medal winner Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland.
Karmakar won bronze at the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to do so in the history of the Games. She bagged bronze at the Asian Gymnastics Championships and finished fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships- both firsts for the country. (ANI)