Lone Runner From Infamous Delhi State 100m Finals Returns Positive Doping Test

Lalit Kumar says he is being framed or may have taken contaminated supplements

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Earlier this year, chaos ensued at the Delhi State Athletics Championships, which took place in September at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

A video taken by a coach surfaced on social media, showing a washroom at the meet littered with used needles that contained the banned substance erythropoietin (EPO).

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) officials arrived on site the day after the video was posted to social media. As the news began to spread among competitors that doping control officials were in attendance, countless participants began to flee.

Over half the participants who were set to compete that day were nowhere to be found. 

Athletes were absent from races and missing from awards presentations. Notably, one steeplechase runner continued running after crossing the line, all in an effort to avoid NADA officials.

“We have eight finalists in the track events, but only three or four turned up [on Tuesday]. This is the state of affairs. In the junior steeplechase event, a girl continued to run even after crossing the finish line. A doping control officer had to chase her to get her sample,” a senior coach told the press.

The event that made headlines throughout the chaos was the senior men’s 100m final. Lalit Kumar was the only athlete of the eight who qualified and turned up to the race.

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Now, reports are saying that the lone 100m runner, Kumar, tested positive at the meet for a metabolite of the anabolic steroid drostanolone.

Drostanolone is a powerful synthetic androgenic steroid similar to testosterone. Drostanolone, like many anabolic steroids, is used to promote increased strength and power, which are important qualities for sprinters.

The adverse analytical findings from the doping test were emailed to Kumar from NADA officials in October. However, the 100m runner claims he has never taken any performance-enhancing substances and believes it is possible he is being framed.

“Had I taken any performance-enhancing drugs, I would have fled like the rest. I have never taken any drugs…I feel some coaches are involved in framing me,” he told Outlook.

Kumar adds that he will not be lodging an appeal with NADA as he can not afford the fee associated with having his B sample tested.

Kumar said to Outlook, “I went to the NADA office and was told that I have to pay INR 16,500 [USD 197.99] for my B sample to be tested. My career has been ruined even before it started. To appeal, I need to find some kind of proof, and I don’t have any right now.”

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Kumar told Outlook about some supplements he believed could have been contaminated.

“I took protein supplements, and maybe they were contaminated.”

The incident highlights the ongoing doping situation in India.

India has always ranked highly for its number of doping violations. In 2014, 2015, and 2019, the country had the third-highest number of doping violations worldwide, and in 2018, it ranked fourth.

Most recently, India was ranked second according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report for number of anti-doping violations, only behind Russia.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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