Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday sought the intervention of Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore in the doping controversy involving Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sanjita Chanu while also suggesting that there could be an error in the identification of the sample of the Manipuri weightlifter.
Sanjita, who won a gold in women's 53 kg class in the recent Gold Coast CWG, has been handed a provisional suspension by the International Weightlifting Federation after her 'A' sample tested positive for anabolic steroid testosterone.
The Manipur CM said there could have been "mixing up or exchange" of the dope sample of Sanjita taken in the United States in November last year.
"I am informed that the International Weightlifting Federation in a communication dated May 15 has provisionally suspended Manipuri international athlete Sanjita Chanu. I am given to understand that there is a glaring error in the laboratory sample identification based on which the Manipuri athlete has been suspended," Biren said in the letter to Rathore.
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"Records placed before me said that the IWF suspension communication mentioned sample number 1599000 on the top of the report while the fourth para of the report cites sample number 1599176," he added.
He said inferring from the communication of the IWF, the sample identification was "conflicting and the report seems to be dubious".
"It could also be a suspected case of mixing up or exchange of sample of the Manipuri athlete with some other athlete due to which two different sample numbers are quoted in the suspension order," the Manipur CM said.
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"I would sincerely urge you to kindly personally intervene in the matter and obtain a prompt review of the suspension order," Biren said in the letter.