In last four years, Mirabai Chanu underwent & passed 45 dope tests, conducted by International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), but nothing has come out. She has passed in many dope tests. She was the historic success story of Indian weightlifting in a blemish-free 2017 in which the sport managed to stay clear of the dope scandals that have destroyed its credibility in the past.
On November 30, Chanu won the women’s 48kg category gold at the World Championship in Anaheim, USA, becoming the first Indian in 22 years after Olympic bronze-medallist Karman Malleswari to attain the feat. Malleswari had clinched it twice in 1994 and 1995.
For once, a sport more infamous for doping scandals earned its moment in the spotlight courtesy a shy youngster, who was subjected to two dope tests in the space of two days after returning from the world championship. Her national record bettering lift of 194 kg didn’t just give her fresh inspiration to aim higher but also lifted the profile of her sport.
The reigning Commonwealth champion endured a difficult journey en route her gold medal feat. It was just about a year back that she had contemplated quitting the sport after drawing flak for not winning a medal at the Rio Olympics.
It took her quite a while to drag herself out of the disappointment and start from the scratch again. Her determination finally got her the desired results across the Atlantic. Besides putting in hours of rigorous training post the Rio Games failure, Chanu had also missed her sister’s wedding as it clashed with the championship.
So, it was hardly a surprise that emotions got the better of her when she finally stepped on the podium with tears rolling down freely. Perhaps, it was also a reflection of the stress of scrutiny that came with four dope tests in 20 days, adding to the 45 tests she had been subjected to by WADA as well as NADA.
“I have been tested so many times in the past two years but nothing has come out. Whenever they ask me to give a sample, I do it without hesitation because I have nothing to hide. I am only bothered about my training and looking forward to doing well at next year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games,” Chanu told PTI.