Shot putter Manpreet Kaur, the Asian Athletics Championships gold medallist, has tested positive for Dimethylbutylamine, a stimulant which falls in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) prohibited list. This is the first instance of an Indian athlete testing positive for the substance, National Anti-Doping Agency director general Navin Agarwal confirmed on Wednesday.
Kaur had qualified for the upcoming World Championships at the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix in Jinhua, China, with a throw of 18.86 metres. As dimenthylbutylamine is a specified substance she does not face a provisional ban. “The athlete does not face a provisional suspension as she has tested positive for a specified substance. She can exercise her right to get the ‘B’ sample tested. She has to face a disciplinary panel and could potentially face a ban of up to 4 years. If the panel subsequently decides to impose a ban she stands to lose her medals,” Agarwal said.
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) secretary CK Valson said the selection committee will meet on Thursday to finalise the team for the World Championships. “It is up to the selection committee to decide whether to field Manpreet Kaur or not for the World Championships in London. She does not face a provisional suspension,” Valson said. Kaur’s test was conducted during the Federation Cup in Patiala in the first week of June.
Dimenthylbutylamine is described as a ‘new salt’, which is a derivative of methylhexaneamine, a stimulant found in the samples of at least a dozen Indian athletes ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Methylhexaneamine has been considered a stimulant by WADA since 2004 but is in the WADA’s prohibited list since 2010.
Methylhexaneamine was re-classified as a specified substance in 2011. But manufacturers of nutritional supplements have looked to find a substitute for methylhexaneamine once it was banned.
Dimethylbutylamine is structurally similar to methylhexaneamine and is found in many supplements. As it is a ‘new salt’, it is not easy to detect and nutritional supplement manufactures have used it as a stimulant in their products.
An AFI official said it was baffling why Manpreet would take a stimulant. “A shot putter does not get any benefit from a stimulant like Dimenthylbutylamine. A stimulant can increase alertness and awareness and provide a ‘rush’ and would be typically used by a sprinter. Its adverse effects are high blood pressure and heart-related complications. In an event like the shot put where there is little margin for error in the throwing circle, taking a stimulant can only increase the probability of fouls. For a sprinter it can provide the physiological rush,” the AFI official said.
Incidentally, Manpreet is the second World Championship-bound athlete from India to have tested positive for a specified substance. Last month, javelin thrower Davinder Singh Kang tested positive for marijuana, which falls under the ‘specified substances’ list. Kang participated at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneshwar from July 5 to 9 and won a bronze.