The appeal of Indian middle distance runner Gomathi Marimuthu against her four-year suspension for doping in 2019 has been rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
The 32-year-old Gomathi’s ban period will run till May 16, 2023, counting from date of her provisional suspension — May 17, 2019.
Gomathi won 800m gold at the Asian Championships in 2019 but was later caught for doping. Her urine sample, taken on April 22, 2019 during the Asian Championships, contained banned 19-norandrosterone, a metabolite of steroid nandrolone.
She was stripped of the gold medal and handed a four-year ban by the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal on May 26 last year. She then approached the CAS, challenging the verdict.
The sole arbitrator of CAS, Prof. Jan Paulsson of Bahrain, however, ruled that Gomathi was guilty of doping and would undergo four-year suspension as ordered by the first-instance hearing panel, from May 17, 2019 to May 16, 2023.
All her results attained between March 18 and May 17, 2019 would stand annulled.
In fact, Gomathi had failed three tests prior to the 2019 Asian Championships — on March 18, 2019 during the Federation Cup in Patiala and twice on April 13, 2019 during the selection trials in Patiala.
In her appeal, Gomathi contended that she suffered from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which, combined with a “spontaneous” miscarriage in January 2019 after till-then-undisclosed pregnancy, could have caused abnormally high concentration of 19-norandrosterone in her urine.
She had also alleged that there was improper testing process resulting in the unreliability of the results.
But all these contentions were dismissed by the sole arbitrator.