India's star sprinter, Hima Das, has been provisionally suspended by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for accumulating three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period. This suspension casts a shadow over her illustrious athletic career and dashes her hopes of competing in the Hangzhou Asian Games.
The 23-year-old athlete from Assam, who had already been grappling with an injury sustained earlier this year, has not found a spot in the Indian contingent for the upcoming Asian Games.
An Indian team official, speaking anonymously, confirmed Hima's suspension, stating, "Yes, she has committed three whereabouts failures in one year period, and so she has been provisionally suspended by the NADA."
Hima Das, who clinched a silver medal in the 400m individual event at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, was also a crucial member of the gold and silver-winning women's 4x400m and mixed 4x400m relay teams during the same Games.
According to World Athletics Anti-Doping (WADA) rules, three whereabouts failures, which can include failures in filing and/or missed tests within a 12-month span, constitute an anti-doping rule violation.
The specific nature of Hima's whereabouts failures, whether related to filing or missed tests, has not been disclosed.
Athletes included in the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) are obligated to provide precise information about their overnight locations, training venues, work addresses, and regular schedules. They must also designate a 60-minute testing window each day for the quarter.
Failure to comply with these whereabouts and testing obligations leads to a whereabouts failure, potentially resulting in sanctions.
Hima Das earlier this year suffered a hamstring injury just before a Grand Prix event in Bengaluru. She has been undergoing medical investigation and treatment, which caused her to miss the Federation Cup in Ranchi in May and the National Inter-State Championship in June. The latter event served as the final selection for the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
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