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Posted at: Oct 10, 2019, 7:42 AM; last updated: Oct 10, 2019, 7:42 AM (IST)

Fencer claims Viagra use for failed dope test

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9

Athletes have in the past cooked up hilarious excuses after testing positive for a banned substance. Jeremy Kerley of NFL team New York Jets blamed ghosts for his failed drug test. Canada’s pole vaulter Shawn Barber successfully avoided a ban after claiming to have accidentally ingested cocaine after kissing a woman. Cyclist Tyler Hamilton had claimed that his two positive tests were a result of “a vanishing twin”.

The latest entry in this list of bizarre excuses is Chunni Lal, an Indian fencer, who claimed that his sample returned positive because he took a medicine to improve his libido.

Lal said he took Viagra a day before he was subjected to an out-of-competition test in July 2018. Chunni Lal came up with the excuse after he was told to consult his lawyers after failing to convince the anti-doping disciplinary panel.

In his initial defence, Lal denied the charge and wrote back stating that he had only consumed fever medicines and supplements issued by the Sports Authority of India. After his B sample returned positive, he hinted that the violation was “at best unintentional” as the steroid found was of no use in the sport of fencing.

After he was told to reconsider, Chunni Lal admitted that he took Viagra. “Somehow the panel was not convinced and gave an opportunity to the athlete to recollect and to reconsider his position in consultation with his advocate, as to whether he had received or was receiving treatment for a medical condition. After much hesitation, he admitted that a day before the dope test, he and his colleagues had consumed Viagra, purchased from a local chemist shop. However he did not have an invoice of the purchased tablet so there was no way to ascertain the exact nature of the consumed tablet,” National Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement.

However, he was still suspended for four years. “…As Chunni Lal failed in the above criterion and indulged in unsportsmanlike behaviour he was found liable for sanctions which made him ineligible for a period of four years starting from March 2019,” the report added.

Nirmala Sheoran suspended for 4 years

Quartermiler Nirmala Sheoran has been suspended for four years. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which manages the bulk of doping cases relating to track & field athletes, announced the verdict on Wednesday. Nirmala’s samples, taken in June 2018, returned positive for drostanolone and metenolone, an anabolic steroid.

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