Top Indian sprinter gets four-year doping ban: reports

NEW DELHI (Agencies): Chand is a two-time Asian Games silver medallist who holds the Indian national 100-metre women’s record of 11.17 seconds, and is also one of the country’s most famous LGBTQ figures.

The 28-year-old said in June that she intended to retire after competing in the Paris Olympics next year, which would have been her third appearance after Rio and Tokyo.

But Chand has now been ruled out of competition until at least 2027 after testing positive for banned substances, the Times of India reported late Thursday.

The athlete had been unable to demonstrate that she had taken prohibited drugs without “significant fault or negligence,” the newspaper reported, quoting an order by India’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel.

Chand tested positive for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, a class of drugs that mimic the effect of anabolic steroids, according to the report.

Her four-year ban was imposed retrospectively from January, and the report said she had three weeks to appeal the decision.

Chand was born to a poor family in the eastern state of Odisha and announced in 2019 that she was in a same-sex relationship — a rare move in India.

The revelation prompted a backlash in her home village and Chand said she had struggled to overcome the prejudice.

She also waged a long battle against a ban from competition after she was diagnosed in 2014 with hyperandrogenism, a condition which produces high male sex hormones.

She took her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which ruled in her favour, allowing her to compete in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, where she won silver medals in the 100m and 200m women’s races.