Star India sprinter Hima Das has been provisionally suspended by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for three whereabout failures in 12 months, according to sources.
The 23-year-old Assam runner has not been named in the Hangzhou Asian Games team due to an injury she had sustained earlier this year.
“Yes, she has committed three whereabout failures in one year period and so she has been provisionally suspended by the NADA,” an Indian team official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Hima, who has already left the national camp, faces a maximum two-year ban, which can be reduced to a minimum of one year depending on the degree of her fault.
Hima had won a 400m individual silver at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. She was also a part of the gold and silver winning women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m relay quartets in Jakarta.
Under the World Athletics Anti-Doping (WADA) rules, any combination of three whereabouts failures — filing failure and/or missed test — within a period of 12 months constitute an anti-doping rule violation.
The details of whether Hima’s whereabouts failure related to filing or missed test is not known.
Athletes included in the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) must provide full address for their overnight location, the name and full address of each location where they train, work or conduct other regular scheduled activities, as well as the usual time-frames of each activity.
RTP athletes must also identify a 60-minute window and location for each day of the quarter, during which they must be available for testing. Failure to comply with whereabouts and testing obligations will result in a whereabouts failure.
A lower back problem has been troubling Hima for the past few years. Indian athletics chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair had earlier said that Hima had suffered a hamstring injury too in April just before a Grand Prix event in Bengaluru, and she has been on “medical investigation and treatment”.
That was why Hima missed the Federation Cup in Ranchi in May and the National Inter-State Championship, which was the final selection event for the Asian Games, in June in Bhubaneswar.
Last month, race walker Bhawna Jat pulled out of the World Athletics Championships in Hungary after three whereabout failures. She was handed provisional suspension by the NADA.
Before that, Tokyo Olympian and 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist wrestler Seema Bisla was handed one-year ban by the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) of the NADA for “whereabouts failure”.
In July, the NADA issued notice on multiple World Championships medallist and Asian Championships gold winner Vinesh Phogat for whereabouts failure for the first time in 12 months.