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After dope slur, athletes told to avoid Suman

The executive committee meeting of the UPAA, scheduled on Sunday, will officially announce its decision on Suman and other dope offenders in the recent past.

other sports Updated: Apr 11, 2019 12:21 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
South Asian Federation,SAF,Suman Devi
Image for representation(REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo)

Following a four-year ban for doping, South Asian Federation (SAF) Games gold-medallist javelin thrower Suman Devi is set to face more humiliation on her home turf. She may not find anyone to train or interact with, if the UP Athletics Association (UPAA) has its way. The state body has warned athletes that those found training with her or even talking to her on the field may face bans.

The executive committee meeting of the UPAA, scheduled on Sunday, will officially announce its decision on Suman and other dope offenders in the recent past.

“If somebody is caught for doping, he or she will not be allowed to train or mingle with other athletes at grounds or sports venues across the state. If we find someone interacting with dope offenders, we will suspend him/her,” UPAA secretary PK Srivastava said on Wednesday.

“She (Suman) has been a serial dope offender, and her act has brought us disrepute . There are some other athletes too who have maligned the image of the sporting body by using performance-enhancing drugs,” Srivastava said. “Because of this, we are also facing a possible ban by the national federation.”

According to Srivastava, almost 25 per cent of athletes who test positive for banned substances at the national level come from Uttar Pradesh.

“There are some coaches too who have been promoting doping. We are identifying them, and if someone is found guilty, he will not be allowed to train or travel with the state teams at national and internationals events,” said Srivastava, who is also the treasurer of the Athletics Federation of India.

Suman tested positive for the steroid nandrolone during the national trials from June 25-27 at Patiala last year. She had finished 10th with a throw of 50.90 metres at the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar, which was far below her personal best of 59.45 she had set during the 2016 SAF Games. Suman claims that she did not use the banned substance, and does not know how she tested positive. “I have almost quit the game as I have an eight-month-old baby and I have a tumour in the stomach. It’s almost over for me. I don’t think I will be able to return to the track again,” she said.

Suman, whose four-year ban will end in June 2020, believes that there was a conspiracy against her. “A steroid can only be taken via an injection,” she said. “I had a severe head injury during the Patiala camp (before the Olympics qualifying tournament in Poland). I don’t know what kind of injections I was given during the treatment. Does it sound right that I would take the risk of taking a banned substance just before the qualifier?

Suman, who does not work with a coach, said she usually trains by herself.

First Published: Apr 11, 2019 11:14 IST