Shalu Chaudhary Exonerated of Doping Charges After DNA Testing Reveals Tampering

Shalu Chaudhary Exonerated of Doping Charges After DNA Testing Reveals Tampering

Shalu Chaudhary Exonerated of Doping Charges After DNA Testing Reveals Tampering or Contamination

New Delhi: In a significant development, the National Anti-Doping Agency’s (NADA) appeals’ panel has exonerated middle-distance runner Shalu Chaudhary of doping charges. The panel lifted her four-year ban after DNA testing revealed that her urine sample had either been tampered with or contaminated at the time of collection.

Chaudhary, a 30-year-old national-level medallist in 800m, was banned last year after losing her appeal to NADA’s disciplinary panel. She was suspended for the alleged use of two substances, including a stimulant and peptide hormones.

Undeterred, Chaudhary sought a DNA testing of her urine sample, a plea that was initially rejected by the disciplinary committee. However, the appeals panel accepted her request, and the testing was conducted at the Forensics department of King’s College, London.

The DNA testing results were crucial in Chaudhary’s exoneration. The appeals panel order stated that the A and B samples from the previously analyzed urine sample produced “extremely poor partial DNA profiles, presenting as a mixture of two female individuals in similar proportions.”

This finding strongly suggested that the sample had been compromised, either through tampering or contamination. The counsel for NADA acknowledged the DNA report and did not challenge its findings.

As a result, the appeals panel set aside the four-year ban imposed on Chaudhary and the consequential directions of forfeiture of competitive results. The panel also directed NADA to refund the ₹1.5 lakh collected from Chaudhary for the DNA testing within 10 days.

Chaudhary’s defense centered around the contention that her positive dope test was a result of tampering or contamination during sample collection. Her lawyers, Parth Goswami and Akshay Kumar, cited precedents where DNA testing had been permitted, including a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and a previous decision by NADA in the case of motorsports athlete Vijay Singh.

The appeals panel emphasized the need for fairness and discretion in such matters and accepted Chaudhary’s request for DNA testing.

“I am pleased to announce that the appeals panel’s decision to exonerate Shalu Chaudhary validates our longstanding assertion of innocence,” said Goswami in a statement. “While I am relieved by this outcome, I am deeply saddened by the toll it has taken on Shalu’s career.”

Chaudhary’s exoneration highlights the importance of thorough investigations and the use of scientific evidence in anti-doping cases. It also serves as a reminder of the potential consequences of false or inaccurate doping allegations on an athlete’s career and reputation.

Lithuanian Discus Thrower Shatters 38-Year-Old World Record

Lithuanian Discus Thrower Shatters 38-Year-Old World Record

Mykolas Alekna, the 21-year-old Lithuanian discus thrower, has shattered the longest-standing men’s world record in track and field, eclipsing a mark that had stood for 38 years.

Alekna’s record-breaking throw of 74.35m came at the Oklahoma Throws Series World Invitational meet on Sunday. It surpassed the previous record of 74.08m set by East German Jurgen Schult in 1986.

Alekna’s achievement is particularly remarkable given that he is still in the early stages of his career. He is the son of Virgilijus Alekna, a two-time Olympic and world champion discus thrower.

Mykolas Alekna’s rise to the top has been rapid. He won the European and world U-20 championships in 2021 and went on to win gold at the European Championships and silver at the World Championships in 2022.

Alekna’s progression has been consistent, with his season bests improving significantly over the past few years. He credits his father as his “big idol” and says that fishing is his most relaxing getaway from his profession.

Alekna’s record-breaking throw has sent shockwaves through the world of athletics. He is now a serious contender for gold at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Ekta Dey Shatters National U-20 Record in 3,000m Steeplechase

Ekta Dey Shatters National U-20 Record in 3,000m Steeplechase

Madhya Pradesh’s Ekta Pradeep Dey shattered the women’s national U-20 record in the 3,000m steeplechase, clocking an impressive 10:10.08secs at the 22nd National Junior U-20 Federation Athletics Championships. This remarkable feat surpassed the previous record of 10:29.50 secs and met the Asian U-20 qualification time of 11:30.00.

Odisha’s Dondapati Mrutyumjaya also made headlines, winning the 200m in a blistering 21.59 secs. This time not only secured him the title but also surpassed the Asian U20 qualification time of 21.60secs. Mrutyumjaya had previously won the 100m on Saturday, clocking 10.67 secs, narrowly missing the qualification mark by 0.17secs.

Uttar Pradesh’s javelin throwers dominated the competition, with Dipanshu Sharma claiming the title with a throw of 68.89m. Rohan Yadav secured silver with a throw of 68.29m, while Uttarakhand’s Ajeet Kumar Yadav took bronze with 66.94m. All three throwers surpassed the qualification mark of 65.49m.

Gujarat’s Laxita Vinod Sandilea completed a double, adding the 800m title to her 1500m victory on Sunday.

Junior national chief coach Nagapuri Ramesh expressed confidence in India’s performance at the upcoming Junior Asian Athletics Championships in Dubai and the junior worlds in Lima, Peru. He attributed the recent success of Indian athletes to the inspiration provided by Neeraj Chopra’s Olympic and World Championships gold medals in javelin.

Over-Age Athletes Detected at National Junior Athletics Championships

Over-Age Athletes Detected at National Junior Athletics Championships

Eight Over-Age Athletes Detected at National Junior Athletics Championships

On the penultimate day of the 22nd National Junior U20 Federation Athletics Championships, eight athletes were reportedly found to be over the age limit. Their results have been withheld, and they have undergone bone tests at a local hospital.

In addition, an athlete who won a silver medal was discovered to have participated under a different name using a fake Aadhar card. An expert committee of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and the Uttar Pradesh Athletics Association (UPAA) is investigating these cases.

“Eight athletes have been found over age based on their certificates and physical appearances,” said PK Srivastava, CEO of UPAA. “Bone tests have been conducted, and the results are pending.”

“The results of these athletes will be released only after the bone test results are available. If any of them have qualified for the Asian Championships in Dubai next month, they will be allowed to participate only if they pass the tests,” he added.

AFI has implemented age verification measures for the U20 championships this year. The committee found that the eight athletes had manipulated their certificates and had different ages according to their Aadhar cards and other documents. They were allowed to participate temporarily, but their results are subject to the bone test outcomes.

National Records Set

Odisha’s Bapi Hansda set a meet record in the men’s 400m, clocking 46.90 seconds. Haryana’s Aarti won the women’s 10,000m race walk event with a national record time of 47:21.04. Both athletes have achieved the qualifying standards for the Asian Championships.

Syringes Found at Athletics Championship, Raising Doping Concerns

Syringes Found at Athletics Championship, Raising Doping Concerns

The Athletics Federation of India’s (AFI) “no needle policy” has come under scrutiny after numerous used syringes were discovered at the main athletics stadium of the Sports Authority of India’s center in Lucknow during the 22nd Junior National Federation Athletics Championship.

The syringes were found scattered in the men’s toilets, which are adjacent to the dope collection rooms at the venue. The identity of the athletes who used the syringes remains unknown, but their presence raises concerns about potential doping violations.

“We can’t keep an eye on every athlete, especially when they lock the toilet doors,” said a security guard outside the bathrooms on condition of anonymity. “It’s not our responsibility to check every time an athlete comes out of the toilet.”

The discovery of the syringes on the first day of the prestigious event, which serves as a qualifying championship for the 21st Asian U20 Athletics Championships in Dubai, has shocked organizers.

“We have no idea how these syringes got into the men’s toilet,” said PK Srivastava, chief executive officer of the Uttar Pradesh Athletics Association. “We have a strict no-needle policy in athletics, but I will investigate this matter personally.”

Srivastava confirmed that the AFI has set up a dope control center at the venue, where a team of doctors is deputed for sample collection. A six-member NADA team led by BN Mishra is also stationed there.

“AFI has set up its dope controlling center at the venue, and so far, nine samples have been received on day one of the three-day championship,” said Srivastava. “It’s disheartening that some of our athletes still resort to such unethical practices.”

The presence of the syringes has cast a shadow over the championship and raised questions about the effectiveness of the AFI’s anti-doping measures. The incident highlights the need for stricter enforcement of doping regulations and increased education for athletes on the dangers of performance-enhancing substances.

Tentoglou Blasts WA's Proposed Take-Off Board Experiment

Tentoglou Blasts WA’s Proposed Take-Off Board Experiment

Greek long jump sensation Miltiadis Tentoglou has vehemently opposed World Athletics’ (WA) proposed experiment with the take-off board, expressing his concerns shortly after claiming the world indoor title in Glasgow.

Tentoglou, who now holds the Olympic, outdoor world, and indoor world titles, erupted when questioned about the proposed change. The experiment involves moving the take-off board 5 centimeters closer to the pit, a move that has drawn criticism from many athletes.

“It’s a stupid idea,” Tentoglou declared. “It’s going to ruin the sport. It’s going to make it easier for people to jump far, but it’s not going to make it fairer.”

Tentoglou believes that the proposed change will favor athletes with greater speed and power, while disadvantaging those with better technique. He argues that the current take-off board distance has been established for decades and should not be altered.

“The take-off board is a sacred thing in long jump,” Tentoglou said. “It’s been the same for years, and it’s been fair for everyone. Why change it now?”

WA has defended the experiment, claiming that it will increase the excitement and unpredictability of the event. However, Tentoglou and other athletes remain skeptical.

“It’s not going to make the sport more exciting,” Tentoglou said. “It’s just going to make it more random. It’s going to be a lottery.”

The proposed experiment is set to begin in May at the Diamond League meeting in Doha. It will be closely monitored by WA, and a decision on whether to implement the change permanently will be made after the 2023 World Championships in Budapest.

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