IMAGE: Image for representation. Photograph: SAI Media/X
India’s quartermiler Nirmala Sheoran has been handed an eight-year ban by National Anti-Doping Agency’s (NADA) Disciplinary Panel after she returned positive for a banned substance in a test conducted last year.
The 28-year-old Sheoran had returned to competition during the National Inter-State Championships in June last year in Bhubaneswar after serving a four-year ban for a dope offence in 2018.
In an order passed by the NADA’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel on December 27 and revealed only on Thursday, Sheoran has been banned for eight years, starting from August 7, 2023.
She had tested positive for “Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) and Testosterone (T)” according to the NADA website, which mentioned only her first name — Nirmala.
Sheoran, the country’s top quartermiler at one time, had won women’s 400m gold in the 2017 Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar. But a doping offence committed in 2018 resulted to her stripping of that gold as her results from August 2018 to November 2018 were struck off.
She also ran in the 2016 Rio Olympics in 400m and women’s 4x400m relay.
“Yes, the athlete in question is Nirmala Sheoran. She (Nirmala in NADA website) is the same athlete (as Nirmala Sheoran). It’s an out of competition test and her sample was taken in Jaipur,” an athletics team source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
This would mean that her sample which returned positive was not related to the National Inter-State Championships but collected later.
The eight-year ban will also mean that Sheoran’s career will be as good as over, unless she gets a favourable decision on appeal, if at all she takes that route.