Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sanjita Chanu, who was provisionally suspended by the international federation after allegedly failing a dope test, has denied the charges made against her. She insisted that she is innocent.

Chanu said she would challenge the provisional suspension imposed on her. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) had said on its website that Sanjita has tested positive for testosterone.

“IWF reports that the sample of Ms. Sanjita Chanu Khumukcham (IND) has returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for Testosterone (S1.1 Anabolic Agents). As a consequence, the Athlete is provisionally suspended in view of a potential anti-doping rule violation,” the IWF stated in its website.

“In any case where it is determined that the Athlete did not commit an anti-doping rule violation, the relevant decision will also be published,” the IWF added.The Manipuri weightlifter had won 53 kg  weightlifting event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

No details, such as the dates of the dope test sample collection, were revealed. The IWF said “it will not make any further comments on the case until it is closed”.

However, Chanu later claimed to be innocent and said she would challenge the provisional ban. “I do not know when the tests were done. There were three testings. I do not know whether the urine was mine or had been substituted,” she said.

Sanjita could request for a “B” sample test if her dope result came from a recent test. The weightlifter might face a four-year ban if her “B” sample also tests positive. In that case, she would also lose her gold medal.

Chanu added that she never took any food or soft drinks outside the training centre. As such she failed to understand how steroids had been found in her samples. She is seeking the help of the government and the people to establish the truth.

Sanjita finished 13th with a total lift of 177 kg in the 53 kg class in the World Championship in Anaheim (US) in November last year. She lifted a total of 192kg to win the gold in 53kg in Gold Coast. She had also won a gold in the 48kg category in the 2014 CWG in Glasgow.

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