Gymnast Dipa Karmakar serving two-year ban for anti-doping violation | More sports News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Where has Indian gymnastics’ poster girl Dipa Karmakar been since March this year when the news about her ‘suspended’ status on the international gymnastics federation’s (FIG) website first broke out? Several theories did the rounds from her being punished for an ethical or disciplinary issue to a possible doping violation.
Authorities administering sports in India remained tight-lipped about the matter, so did the FIG, the gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) and the National Anti-Doping agency (NADA).
TOI can now confirm that the ‘Produnova’ girl Dipa, who changed the face of gymnastics in India after her ground-breaking fourth-place finish in the women’s vault final at the Rio Olympics 2016, is currently serving a two-year ban for an anti-doping violation under the whereabouts rule.
Multiple sources have told this publication that Dipa is under suspension since the second half of 2021 for her failure to honour the whereabouts guidelines as mandated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Attempts to reach out over phone to GFI president Sudhir Mittal, Dipa and her long-serving coach, Bishweshwar Nandi, for their reactions didn’t elicit any response. The trio also didn’t respond to messages sent separately on their whatsapp chats.
A separate email sent to the FIG’s media department met with a ‘no comment’ response.
“FIG has no further comments regarding this matter. Thank you for your understanding,” wrote Loïc Vidmer, FIG’s anti-doping medical manager and secretary of the disciplinary commission.
It’s been learnt that the officials in the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and NADA have blamed Nandi, who has coached Dipa since her childhood and was instrumental in her rise to the top, for the Padma Shri, Khel Ratna and Arjuna awardee gymnast’s failure to file her whereabouts on the ‘Anti-Doping Administration Management System’ (ADAMS) managed by WADA, which is designed to secure information relevant to athletes, support personnel and anti-doping organisations for an effective out-of-competition testing programme.
If an athlete in the registered testing pool (RTP) commits three whereabouts failures (which can be a combination of filing failure and/or missed tests) in a 12-month period, it will constitute an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) and he/she will be sanctioned for a period of ineligibility of 12 to 24 months (first offence) or more for subsequent offences.
All athletes in the RTP list are required to provide their whereabouts on quarterly basis, including address for overnight accommodations, activity schedules, competition schedules and locations and a daily 60-minute time slot for each day where they will be available and accessible for testing and (will be) liable for a potential missed test.
In Dipa’s case, it was the responsibility of Nandi to submit her whereabouts information on the ADAMS as an ‘athlete agent’. However, athletes are ultimately responsible for their whereabouts and, as a result, they cannot avoid responsibility by blaming their representative for filing inaccurate information about their whereabouts or for not updating their whereabouts if they were not at the location specified by them during the 60-minute time-slot.
SAI has washed its hands off the suspension by claiming that Nandi is a coach with the Tripura government’s state sports department and doesn’t work on its payroll.
NADA, according to sources, is miffed with Nandi for harming Dipa’s career and wants to initiate action against him within its jurisdiction, like the one meted out to Mumbai-based athletics coach Mickey Menzes, who was banned for four years and fined Rs 50,000 for injecting a prohibited substance, Drostanolone, into his trainee Kirti Bhoite, who is now serving a two-year ban.
A list of gymnasts – 13 in total – shared with this correspondent by a source clearly mentions Dipa’s name among the athletes suspended by the FIG, with the Indian’s being the only entry. Also, a search of Dipa’s profile on the FIG’s ‘biographies’ section on Friday yielded no result, where she was described in March as ‘suspended’. The licensing section, which divides the gymnasts as ‘active, retired and suspended’, threw up no mention of Dipa’s name.
Dipa had been struggling with injuries ever since she underwent a surgery to treat an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in 2017. Her last FIG event was the 2019 World Cup in Baku. She didn’t compete at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after failing to secure qualification owing to knee injury.

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