Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Saturday sought intervention of Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to obtain a review into the suspension order of weightlifter Sanjita Chanu, who failed an International Weightlifting Federation dope test. In a letter to Rathore, Biren pointed out that there was a glaring error in the laboratory sample identification based on which the Manipuri athlete was suspended.
The development comes a day after Sanjita demanded an inquiry into the charges that her ‘A’ sample tested positive for anabolic steroid testosterone. Sanjita doubted whether the sample that was tested was hers while contending she had never taken any banned substances.
In the letter, the CM said the IWF suspension communication mentioned sample number 1599000 on the top of the report while the fourth para of the report cited sample number 1599176. “From the above facts, it is clear that the sample identification is conflicting and hence seems to be dubious,” he said.
The CM also raised possibilities of a mix-up with some other athlete due to which two different sample numbers were quoted in the suspension order. Singh urged Rathore to intervene and get the suspension order reviewed. He noted that owing to the provisional suspension, the weightlifter won’t be able to participate in any IWF events.
“It hardly needs to be emphasised that beng a “sports power house” of India, such issues are very sensitive to the people of Manipur. An early intervention from your office is extremely crucial towards obtaining justice and fairness for our Manipuri athlete,” he asserted.
The IWF, in an order dated May 15, provisionally suspended two-time Commonwealth medalist Khumkcham Sanjita Chanu after her ‘A’ sample tested positive for anabolic steroid testosterone. As per IWF rules, the Manipuri lifter, if proved guilty, might be slapped with a four-year ban.