Dipa Karmakar suspended for 21 months for use of prohibited substance


New Delhi: The International Testing Agency (ITA) confirmed that Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has been suspended for a 21-month period, effective until 10 July 2023 after testing positive for the use of a prohibited substance.

This suspension will prevent Karmakar from participating in any international competitions during this period, thus significantly impacting her career.

Dipa, who rose to prominence in the 2016 Rio Olympics with a stunning fourth-place finish highlighted by the death-defying Produnova vault, most recently competed at the FIG World Cup in Baku, where she made the vault final but failed to place in the top eight in the balanced beam event.

Karmakar tested positive for Higenamine (S3. Beta-2 Agonists) according to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list. The positive sample was collected on behalf of the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) during an out-of-competition control on October 11, 2021.

The case was successfully resolved through a Case Resolution Agreement in accordance with Article 10.8.2 of the FIG Anti-Doping Rules (FIG ADR, and equivalent provision in the World Anti-Doping Code). Consequently, the athlete’s results will be disqualified, effective October 11, 2021.

According to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Higenamine has mixed adrenergic receptor activity, which suggests it can act as a stimulant. In 2017, Higenamine was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of prohibited substances due to its potential to act as an anti-asthmatic, opening up airways, as well as its cardiotonic properties, which can increase cardiac output by strengthening heart contractions.

As a result of this ban, the 29-year-old athlete will be unable to compete in all four Apparatus World Cup Series tournaments (Cottbus, Doha, Baku, and Cairo) as well as at least three of the six World Challenge Cup Series. However, there is hope that her exile could come to an end at the 2023 World Championships in Antwerp (September 23-October 8), which will serve as an Olympic qualifier.

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