Indian race runner Sunil Vishwakarma tested positive for the banned substance, according to reports. The ‘A’ sample of the 23-year-old was positive for erythropoietin (EPO), a performance-enhancing drug banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Although Sunil Vishwakarma’s ‘B’ sample has yet to be tested, development has become a major obstacle in his candidacy to qualify for Tokyo Olympics. He was temporarily suspended from competitions in all national and international events. Samples of Uttar Pradesh natives were tested in a Belgian laboratory accredited to WADA.
During the state championship in running in a walk in Ranchi last month, NADA collected 10 urine samples, and one athlete did not fail the doping test. If found guilty, Sunil Vishwakarmi could face a four-year ban.
EPO is basically used to improve the endurance of athletes, according to sports medicine expert Ashok Ahu.
“It’s a blood booster. It increases the presence of red blood cells in the body which help the oxygen transfer capacity in an individual and improves performance in long-distance events, ”Ahuja told IANS.
He also stated that the drug can also be used for patients with chronic kidney disease.
“It is easily available without a prescription, without a doctor’s prescription. One bottle would cost between 2000 and 2500 Rs “, added Ahuja.
Three Indian runners qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo
During the men’s race in Group B at 20 kilometers, Sunil Vishwakarma finished first among 18 participants. His moment was 1: 28.09s, far from the qualifying rating for the Tokyo Olympics of 1 hour and 21 minutes.
So far, Haryana’s Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Kumar have qualified for Tokyo Olympics from the men’s group A. In the women’s group A race at 20 kilometers, Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Goswami has booked a ticket to Tokyo.
NADA collected as many as 40 samples during the Indian Grand Prix series and the national racing competition in February.
In addition to Sunil Vishwakarma, another athlete was also tested positive for the banned drug. Her name has not been officially announced.