Dipa Karmakar contesting her ban for doping, says GFI

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According to the Gymnastics Federation of India, Dipa Karmakar, who is now serving an anti-doping sentence due to a whereabouts failure, is attempting to have the penalty overturned by making her case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (GFI), as per the latest report in a publication.

The 29-year-old Karmakar, who rose to prominence in Indian gymnastics after placing fourth at the 2016 Olympics, is presently serving a two-year suspension for violating the World Anti-Doping Agency's whereabouts standards. This was revealed by TOI on Sunday (WADA).

Speaking to The Bridge, GFI treasurer Kaushik Bidiwala said, "Dipa Karmakar has not been banned by FIG, she has been suspended till the time she is able to come up with an adequate explanation. The case is on in court, if she can prove she had reasons, there is no suspension."

In accordance with the whereabouts rule that has Dipa Karmakar in hot water, if an athlete participating in the International Gymnastics Federation's (FIG's) registered testing pool (RTP) commits three whereabouts failures in a calendar year, they are in violation of the anti-doping rule and face a suspension of up to two years.

For the past three years, Karmakar has not participated in any competitive sports. Her last FIG competition was the World Cup in Baku in 2019. Karmakar's status was inexplicably listed as "suspended" on the FIG website in March of this year.

According to the FIG website, nine Indian women who compete in artistic gymnastics now hold valid licences: Aruna Reddy, Pranati Nayak, Pranati Das, Papiya Das, Bidisha Gayen, Sukhnoor Kaur, Ruthuja Nataraj, Protistha Samanta, and Shraddha Talekar. Although Karmakar's license is unavailable, the part on "world-class gymnasts" does reference her biography. Only Dipa is an Indian in the group.

Dipa Karmakar, the president of the GFI, Sudhir Mittal, and her longtime coach, Bishweshwar Nandi, who is said to have had some responsibility for upholding the whereabouts requirements as Karmakar's "player agent," all agreed to discuss the situation on Sunday.

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