London (AFP): An eight-time British wrestling champion has been given a four-year suspension by UK anti-doping authorities after testing positive for a steroid, it was announced on Wednesday.
Chinu Sandhu, who also won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, had initially blamed his positive test on medication he was taking and then said it had been down to a contaminated supplement.
But a three-strong national anti-doping panel dismissed Sandhu’s claims of unintentional use and gave him the maximum ban for first-time offenders.
Sandhu tested positive for stanozolol — the same anabolic steroid that led to Canada’s Ben Johnson being stripped of his 100 metre gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics — at an out-of-competition test on September 20 last year.
“Chinu Sandhu was one of this country’s leading freestyle wrestlers, having won a bronze medal at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and represented Great Britain at the European Games in Baku in 2015,” said United Kingdom Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead in a statement.
“It is sad that his reputation within the sport has been tainted because of his own actions.
“Athletes are solely responsible for any substance which is found in their system, regardless of whether there is an intention to cheat or not.”
Indian-born Sandhu is banned from all sport from October 14, 2016 for four years.