Commonwealth Weightlifting Champion Ravi Katulu Gets 4-year Ban For Doping

India’s dream of curbing the doping cases and securing more and more medals in the Tokyo Olympics took a major blow on Tuesday after the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) banned weightlifter Ravi Kumar Katulu for 4 years.

Ravi won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games (69 kg category) and silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games (77 kg category).

According to media reports, Ravi’s urine sample has tested positive for banned substance Ostarine. Ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) which helps increase muscle mass.

The positive dope result of Ravi, who is also the reigning national champion in 89 kg category, has cast a doubt on the efforts of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF).

The ban comes as a new blow for the scandal-tainted IWLF which is already in danger of losing out on spots for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in accordance with the new rules set for the Olympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The rule states that any nation with 20 or more doping violations from 2008 to 2020 will have just one male and one female weightlifter at the Games, while Countries with 10 to 19 doping violations over that same period will be limited to two men and two women in Tokyo. India fall into the second category right now.

NADA said in a statement that junior Commonwealth Championships gold-winning weightlifter Purnima Pandey, Federation Cup champion discus thrower Dharam Raj Yadav, 100 and 200m sprinter Sanjeet and weightlifter Gurmail have also been suspended for four years for doping.

While Dharam Raj’s urine sample tested positive for increased testosterone level, Purnima’s sample had traces of steroids.

With Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, the development has come as major discomfiture for Indian sports administrators.

The country has already faced global humiliation when the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) was suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for a period of six months in August earlier this year.


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