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Distance Runner G Lakshmanan Handed 2-Year Ban Over 3 Whereabouts Failures In 12 Months

Lakshmanan failed to file whereabouts information during the third (July to September) and fourth (October to December) quarters in 2022, and missed one test on March 26, 2023

Distance runner G Lakshmanan Photo: X/@Media_SAI

NADA had imposed a two-year ban on distance runner G Lakshmanan for three whereabouts clause violations including one missed-test, it has been learnt. (More Sports News)

Lakshmanan, who won a gold each in 5000m and 10,000m in the 2017 Asian Championships, failed to file whereabouts information during the third (July to September) and fourth (October to December) quarters in 2022, and missed one test on March 26, 2023.

Lakshmanan, who was included in NADA's Registered Testing Pool (RTP) for the major part of 2022, was banned by the NADA'a Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel for two years from August 10, 2023 onwards in an order passed on March 19, 2024.

Athletes in the NADA's RTP have to make quarterly whereabouts submission, furnishing their regular activities and provide a 60-minute period each day when he or she will be available for testing.

If RTP athletes fail to file their whereabouts information, fail to keep the information up to date, or fail to be available during their identified 60-minute window, they commit a whereabouts failure.

Any combination of three whereabouts failures within 12 months by an RTP athlete may result in Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV), and hence attract sanction.

NADA issued a notification to Lakshmanan on August 10, 2023, informing him about the ADRV and that he was provisionally suspended from participating in any further events till the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings.

Lakshmanan acknowledged the whereabouts information filing failures but said that he missed the test as his daughter was seriously ill and he had to travel to his native place to take care of her, according to the order passed by the panel headed by advocate Jyoti Zongluju.

He also submitted that he attempted to update his whereabouts information but faced technical difficulties. Additionally, he also stated that he was injured and undergoing Ayurvedic treatment at that time.

NADA submitted that the Dope Control Officer (DCO) reached the location (an address at Coonoor, Tamil Nadu) provided in the athlete's whereabouts information during the relevant 60-minute slot between 7pm to 8pm.

The Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel ruled Lakshmanan's explanations "unsatisfactory" and handed him two-year ban from August 10, 2023, the date of provisional suspension.

"The athlete's explanations presented in defence are deemed unsatisfactory, as the athlete had enough time to update his whereabouts information but failed to do so," the panel said.

"... the athlete has violated Article 2.4 of the ADR (Anti-Doping Rules of the NADA), 2021 and he is hereby sanctioned with an ineligibility period of two years from the date of provisional suspension that is 10.08.2023."