Athletics coach gets four-year dope ban after trainee’s positive test - Hindustan Times

Athletics coach gets four-year dope ban after trainee’s positive test

ByAvishek Roy
Nov 02, 2022 11:27 PM IST

The National Anti-Doping Agency panel slapped the punishment after his teenaged ward was caught at the 2020 Khelo India Youth Games and banned.

In a rare doping punishment that should act as a deterrent for coaches in India, an athletics trainer has been banned for four years by a National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) panel for administering prohibited substance to a young athlete.

File photo(HT_PRINT)
File photo(HT_PRINT)

Mumbai coach Mickey Menezes came under the scanner after his trainee Kirti Bhoite failed a dope test during the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati in 2020.

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Bhoite, then 19, competed in the 100m and 200m in Guwahati. She tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid and was banned for four years. The punishment was reduced to two years by the NADA appeal panel in April.

The athlete argued that her family had no background in sports and she entirely depended on her coach for training and used supplements recommended by Menezes. She filed a complaint against him with the Maharashtra Athletics Association (MAA), which held an inquiry.

On May 12, NADA reported an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) against Menezes for “administration of prohibited substance to the athlete and complicity.” He was immediately suspended from coaching and training activities and from taking part in competitions as a coach or athlete manager. MAA had already imposed a four-year ban on the coach for “reckless and negligent behaviour”.

NADA's Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) in its October 7 order said it has “established that the coach Mickey Menezes has committed an ADRV in order to gain undue advantages from the performance of his trainee Ms Kirti Bhoite.”

The ban of Menezes, a former athlete, took retrospective effect from May 5. “We also direct that under article 10.12 a fine of 50,000 (be levied) to recover the cost associated with ADRV,” the ADDP order said.

Menezes did not appear before the panel.

Pointing to the MAA report, the ADDP order said Menezes acknowledged that he used to recommend protein and amino acid supplements, energy drinks and pre-workouts to Bhoite.

“It is also acknowledged that he has given an injection namely 'Propionate' to the athlete. The report of MAA concludes with affirmation that the coach understood if the athlete performs well at the national level, he would be benefitted," according to submissions in the NADA order.

Menezes in his reply to MAA said the supplement supplier informed him that a new product was available which was “beneficial for sprint events and is also completely dope free.”

In his submission to MAA, he said he gave the supplement and another product to Bhoite under “bona fide belief that the product was dope free”. He said his intention was never to cheat or let Bhoite cheat in sports and that he was shocked by the positive test.

NADA told the appeals panel that Menezes being a former athlete must have been aware of anti-doping rules and intentionally violated them. The panel, quoting Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) judgements said the “athlete or Other Person who had committed an ADRV cannot shift their responsibilities to third parties” which it said frustrate all efforts to fight doping.

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