Gayanthika set for Asian Bronze as Gomathi banned for doping | Daily News


Gayanthika set for Asian Bronze as Gomathi banned for doping

Gayanthika Abeyratne
Gayanthika Abeyratne

Sri Lanka’s top middle distance runner Gayanthika Abeyratne’s fourth-placed performance in the 800 metres event at last year’s Asian Championship is set to be upgraded to a Bronze Medal after India’s Gomathi Marimuthu was stripped off her Gold Medalwhen she testedpositive for banned substances.

The 33-year-old runner from Sooriyawewaclocked two minute 05:74 secondsin the Women’s 800 metres final of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship which was worked off in April, last year in Doha, Qatar.

Gayanthika would now automatically receive the Bronze Medal with the effort of China’sChunyu Wang set to be upgraded to a Gold Medal followed by the performance of Kazakhstan’s Margarita Mukasheva to a Silver Medal.

This was confirmed to the Daily News by the President of theAthletics Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) Major General (Retired) Palitha Fernando who has officially written to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).

“The athletics world governing body has decided to strip all the medals won by the Gold Medallist,GomathiMarimuthu after she tested positive for banned substances.”

“Therefore, the bronze medal in the 800m event should automatically go to fourth-placed Abeyrathne,”AASL President Fernando emphasised yesterday.

As a result, this would be Sri Lanka’s second medal at the Asian Championship afterVidushaLakshani claimed the Bronze Medal in the Women’s triple jump final.

Gomathi who was tested positive for anabolic steroid nandrolonewill be banned until May, 2023 and disqualified from all races in a two-month period from last year according to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

The 31-year-old runner had clocked a personal best time of two minutes 02.70 seconds to become the first Indian to bag Gold in the Women`s 800m event in the competition.

Gomathi still has the option of appealing to the Court of Arbitration and had commented to the Indian media that she is willing to take that option.

AIU is an independent anti-doping watchdog for track and field set up by World Athletics in 2017. This is also the second occasion that Gayanthika’s performances has been upgraded during an Asian Championship following disciplinary violations by herrival.

In 2017, India’s ArchanaAdhav who finished first in the 800m was disqualified for violating competition rules and Gayanthika’sperformance was upgraded to a Silver Medal.

Meanwhile, the AASL is also keeping a close eye on the 400m runner, Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naserwho has been provisionally banned by the AIU.

Naser spearheaded her country to win the Gold Medal in the Women’s 4X400m Relay and in case a possible ban is applicable, then Sri Lanka who finished fourth in this event, could secure another Bronze Medal at this meet.


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