Karmakar also claimed that she had ‘unknowingly ingested’ the banned substance Higenamine — S3 Beta-2 Agonists as per WADA prohibited list — which was found in her dope sample taken last year in October.
According to the US Anti-Doping Agency, Higenamine is found in several herbs used for traditional medicine and is used in supplements without sometimes naming it. It was added to the WADA prohibited list in 2017. The drug is prohibited at all times, both in and out-of-competition.
“…I unknowingly ingested and could not determine the source of (the banned substance). I decided to take a provisional suspension with the hope of a swift resolution with the international federation,” Karmakar wrote on her Twitter handle, indicating that she had admitted to the doping rule violation.
Karmakar’s dope sample was collected out-of-competition by the International Testing Agency (ITA), an independent organisation that manages the anti-doping programme of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), on October 11, 2021.
— Dipa Karmakar (@DipaKarmakar) 1675488148000
Karmakar’s ban period will end on July 10 this year as it was counted from the day (October 11, 2011) the sample was collected. Her results have been disqualified from October 11, 2021 onwards.
According to the ITA, the case was resolved under a case resolution agreement pursuant to article 10.8.2 of the FIG Anti-Doping Rules, which is applicable when “the Athlete or other Person admits an anti-doping rule violation after being confronted with the anti-doping rule violation by FIG and agrees to Consequences acceptable to FIG and WADA, at their sole discretion.”
Karmakar expressed happiness that the matter has been resolved amicably and she is looking forward to returning to gymnastics in July this year.
“Today marks the end of one of the longest battles I have fought for myself and my career…My suspension has been reduced by 3 months and back dated by 2.5 months, allowing me to return to the sport I love in July 2023. It has been distressful to not know how the substances entered the 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. Can’t wait to get back on the floor!,” Karmakar wrote in her long post.
In the post, Karmakar also quashed speculation that her suspension was for not following the whereabouts clause.
“Multiple media reports have speculated that I was under a 2-year suspension for failing to inform WADA of my whereabouts through the Anti-Doping Administration Management System (ADAMS). However, I would like to clarify that these are false and inaccurate and do not reveal the facts and nature of the matter,” Karmakar added.
The 29-year-old Karmakar, who shot to fame after finishing fourth in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the vault event, has 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.
(With inputs from PTI)