New Delhi, Jun 29 (PTI) Senior India quarter-miler and Asian games medallist MR Poovamma has been handed a three-month ban by the National Anti-Doping Agency for failing a dope test last year.
The 32-year-old Poovamma dope sample collected during the Indian Grand Prix in Patiala in February last year had returned positive for stimulant methylhexaneamine.
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) President Adillle Sumariwalla confirmed the development.
“Yes, it is correct,” he told PTI when asked if Poovamma has been handed such a ban.
He said the suspension order came a few days back.
The ban is a huge setback for Povamma as she is set to qualify for the World Championships (July 15-24) in Eugene, USA, on the basis of world ranking quota.
Poovamma was a member of the gold-winning 4x400m women’s and mixed relay teams in the 2018 Asian Games and also part of the 4x400m relay squad that won the gold at the 2014 Asian Games.
She also won a bronze in the individual 400m in the 2012 Asian Games. She received Arjuna Award in 2015.
There has been speculation over Poovamma’s dope flunk last year after she skipped the relay trials in Patiala just a few weeks before the Tokyo Olympics. She later left the national camp which had surprised many.
She had clocked a season-best time of 52.44s while finishing second in the Indian Grand Prix in Thiruvananthapuram in March this year. She had also won a silver in the Federation Cup in Malappuram in April with a time of 52.70s.