Jani banned for two years
Sri Lanka woman sprinter Jani Chathurangani Silva has been banned
from competition after failing to clear her name for a positive dope
test. The Lankan athlete has been served with a two-year ban after a
verdict given by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Lausanne
earlier this week.
Sri Lanka has also been fined Swiss Francs 5,000 for failing to
follow IAAF and WADA guidelines on anti-doping matters relating to the
case and mishandling the dope case. In a strong 21-page report, the IAAF
has criticised the manner in which the case was handled.
The CAS upheld an appeal by the world track and field governing body
- the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) which
challenged the exoneration of the former South Asian Games gold
medallist by the local sports authorities.
President of the Athletic Association of Sri Lanka (AASL), Major
General Palitha Fernando said the CAS has ordered the AASL to pay Swiss
Francs 5,000 to the IAAF as a fine.
Silva’s local dope test drama had a complicated disciplinary
procedure after the 2006 South Asian Games in Colombo where she tested
positive for a prohibited substance 19-Norandrosterone.
The Lankan woman sprinter won a gold medal and a silver medal at last
month’s South Asian championships in Kochi. She came second in women’s
100m and also anchored the Lankan 4 x 100m relay team to secure the
She would now be stripped off her medals and the hosts India will
gain the gold in the relay after it would be officially upgraded by the
South Asian athletic body.
It was in January last year that Silva was controversially cleared by
a local panel. The Disciplinary Committee (DC) of the 2006 South Asian
Games, Wijayadasa Rajapaksha delivered the controversial ruling on
January 16, 2007.
Reasoning out the DC decision to free Silva, Rajapaksha, a Member of
the Parliament and a President’s Counsel, said they have found that the
medical investigation has not been conducted properly.
The DC said the ‘chain of custody’ of the urine sample of Silva had
not taken place properly and as a result, they would exonerate the
sprinter - a controversial decision which was subsequently challenged by
The world athletic body later refereed the case to the CAS and made
an appeal against the decision of the Lankan officials.
Silva had a positive urine sample testing done after the women’s 100m
of the 2006 South Asian Games. But the ‘A’ urine samples of Silva, taken
after women’s 100m and 4 x 100m relay at the eight-nation Games, were
not tested last September.
However, she turned down the opportunity she had to go for a ‘B’
sample test, denying all allegations.
Born on August 21, 1981, Jani Chathurangani Chandra Silva is a
product of Senanayake Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Madampe. During her school
career, she played netball and volleyball and has been running ever
since she was ten years old.
Silva is only the second Sri Lanka athlete to be tested positive for
drugs. Compatriot Susanthika Jayasinghe was twice tested positive for
the identical anabolic steroid but was cleared by the IAAF on both
occasions on medical evidence after arbitration.
After testing over 200 urine samples taken during the 10th South
Asian Games, four competitors, including Silva were tested positive. The
Medical Committee imposed bans on two Pakistani boxers and a Nepali
A scientific laboratory testing in Malaysia disclosed that Silva’s
urine sample taken on August 25, 2006 contained anabolic steroid 19
Norandrosterone (19NA) 27.5 ng/ml level. The comparative reading was
14.05 ng/ml in her second urine sample taken on the following day -
August 26, 2006. The tolerance level given by the world anti-doping body
WADA is only 2ng/ml.
There was a running battle between the AASL and the National Sports
Medicine Institute on the authority of conducting the local
investigation though the Director General of Sports Medicine, Dr.
Geethanjana Mendis maintained that he has followed proper WADA
The AASL President said they have been fined for not following the
proper procedure and exonerating an athlete in a manner in which they
could not impress the IAAF.
“I think our officials handled the case badly. The athlete originally
came before the AASL EX-Co and admitted guilty. But she subsequently
denied it. If we had imposed a minimum one year ban then, she would have
been well finished it by now. But now, Sri Lanka will have to pay a huge
fine while the athlete has to start a new two-year ban,” Maj. Gen.