The National Anti-Doping Appeal Panel has handed Asian Games relay gold medallist M.R. Poovamma a two-year suspension, overturning a disciplinary panel decision that gave her just a three-month ban. The ban will now see the star quarter miler miss next year’s World Championships and Asian Games.
Poovamma was tested during the Indian Grand Prix-1 in Patiala on February 18, 2021, and her sample tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a banned stimulant.
Both her ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples tested positive but Poovamma denied that she had taken an illegal substance and claimed she had consumed an ayurvedic product named Bedtime Latte. The Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) gave her a three-month suspension (in June 2022) but the NADA appealed the verdict.
The appeal panel felt that the ADDP had granted her a reduced penalty without adhering to any rational norm, rule or guideline and that the substance found in her body was a commonly abused performance enhancer.
It has now imposed a sanction of two years on Poovamma and all her results from the date of sample collection (February 18, 2021) have been disqualified.