Gymnast Dipa Karmakar suspended for 21 months for use of prohibited substance


The International Testing Agency (ITA) confirmed on Friday that Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar has been suspended for a 21-month period, effective until 10 July 2023 after testing positive for the use of a prohibited substance.

Dipa, who rose to prominence in the 2016 Rio Olympics with a stunning fourth-place finish highlighted by the death-defying Produnova vault, most recently competed at the FIG World Cup in Baku, where she made the vault final but failed to place in the top eight in the balanced beam event.

Karmakar tested positive for Higenamine (S3. Beta-2 Agonists as per the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list). The positive sample was collected on behalf of the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 11 October 2021.

The case was resolved through a case resolution agreement in accordance with FIG Anti-Doping Rules article 10.8.2. (FIG ADR, and equivalent provision in the World Anti-Doping Code). The athlete’s results will be disqualified starting on October 11, 2021.

According to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), higenamine has mixed adrenergic receptor activity, which means it could act as a general stimulant. Higenamine, which was added to WADA’s list of prohibited substances in 2017, can act as an anti-asthmatic to open up airways. It may also be cardiotonic, which means it can increase cardiac output by strengthening heart contraction.

The ban means that the 29-year-old will miss all four Apparatus World Cup Series tournaments (Cottbus, Doha, Baku, and Cairo) as well as at least three of the six World Challenge Cup Series. Her four-year exile could come to an end at the 2023 World Championships in Antwerp (September 23-October 8), which will serve as an Olympic qualifier.