Back in January, three swimmers in Inida who were appealing doping suspensions were given two-year bans from FINA. The bans of Richa Mishra, Amar Muralidharan, and Jyotsana Pansare became effective on November 5th, 2012 and will run until 2014.
The athletes tested positive for methylhexaneamine, with Muralidharan’s test coming at the 64th National Aquatic Championships on August 26th, 2010.
They claimed irregularities in the handling and chain-of-custody of the samples, the testing procedures, and the likelihood of so many athletes simultaneously testing positive for the same substance. Eight other athletes Indian athletes tested positive for the same substance. Muralidharan and Pansare were the most vocal of these appeals, and it was ruled that these discrepancies did not affect the final results fo the testing.
Mishra is the most high-profile of these swimmers. Since the initial test, he won 16 medals (11 golds) at the National Games in February of 2011, a new record, and 5 gold medals at the National Swimming Championships in 2012. All of those titles will be lost. Mishra is the National Record holder in several events, including long course bests of 4:25 in the 400 free and 2:23 in the 200 IM (in long course)
The cruel irony is that if the athletes had accepted the positive tests initially, they would likely be returned to competition by this point.
Methylhexaneamine is a vasoconstrictor often used in nasal decongestants.
It was released this week by NDTV.com that Jyotsna Pansare‘s sentence is being reduced to only 1 year, and that she will be able to keep all of the wins and records she set. The National Anti-Doping Appeal Panel announced that they accepted Pansare’s argument that she had used cosmetic products containing geranium oil and root extract which led to her positive test. She will be eligible to compete again in November of this year.
The ten other athletes who received bans have also filed appeals with the NADAP, are still waiting for the panels findings. Pansare’s decision was the first to be released from the group.