CHENNAI: THE International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has lifted the provisional suspension imposed on weightlifter Sanjita Chanu after a failed dope test in November 2017, the body revealed in a letter to the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) on Tuesday.
Her provisional suspension has been lifted until the results of her hearing are out. “On the basis of the information at its disposal, the IWF has decided that the provisional suspension of the athlete (Khumukcham Sanjita) shall be lifted as of today (22 January 2019),” the IWF legal counsel Eva Nyirfa said in a letter. “The IWF Hearing Panel will render its decision on the athlete’s case in due course.”
While Sanjita — who had won gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games before having the ban imposed on her in May — will hope to make it to the Tokyo Olympics, all will hinge on the IWF’s final decision, considering she has not yet been cleared of doping. But high-ranking IWLF officials believe that she has a good chance of being cleared. “The case against her is weak. I think she can come back and qualify for the Tokyo Olympics,” sources said.
While the IWF has not revealed what led it to revoke the provisional suspension, Sanjita’s case reportedly was subject to an administrative mix-up. According to reports, the IWF had mentioned two different urine sample numbers, one for the sample collected and one for the result, while communicating news of her failing the dope test. The Manipuri weightlifter had demanded an inquiry after the IWF admitted to the mistake.
Sanjita had tested positive for anabolic steroid testosterone when her urine sample was taken prior to the World Championships in November 2017. She had set a new Commonwealth Games record in Gold Coast a few months later before having the suspension imposed on her in May.