Chinu Sandhu, the British wrestler who won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, has been banned for a period of four years after he tested positive for an anabolic steroid.

The Indian-born Sandhu, who is based in the West Midlands, is banned from all sport from October 14, 2016, until midnight on October 13, 2020. Sandhu, also known as Chinu Chinu or Chinu Xxx, tested positive for a metabolite of Stanozolol, an exogenous anabolic androgenic steroid, following an out-of-competition test on 20 September 2016. The wrestler was subsequently charged following the test with an ADRV pursuant to article 2.1 of the World Anti-Doping Code – “Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample”.

The news was described by British Wrestling as “extremely disappointing” after the 29-year-old, who competed in the 125kg men’s freestyle, failed an out-of-competition drugs test. The claim of unintentional use by the eight-time British wrestling champion was rejected by a three-person national anti-doping panel that imposed the maximum four-year sanction for first-time offenders.

The British wrestler had originally blamed the positive test for Stanozolol (Winstrol) on medication he was taking but then said it came about as a result of taking a contaminated supplement.

In a press release, UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead said 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. Sapstead added it is sad that his reputation within the sport has been tainted because of his own actions. The UKAD chief executive said athletes are solely responsible for any substance which is found in their system, regardless of whether there is an intention to cheat or not and further commented that no one can ever guarantee that a supplement is free from prohibited substances and taking them will always carry an element of risk.

Sapstead also said that our advice is clear – before taking any supplement, athletes must assess the need and remarked it is then imperative that they assess the risk of use by carrying out thorough research through websites such as informed-sport.com. The chief executive of UK Anti-Doping also remarked finally athletes must fully understand the consequences of taking supplements and decide whether a potential four-year ban from sport is worth it.

Few months back, Vahid Hosseinpoor, a 32-year-old freestyle wrestler, who was previously banned in 2014, was suspended for a further 12 months after breaching the terms of his ban. Hosseinpoor originally received a doping ban of two years from 3 June 2014 to 2 June 2016 after testing positive for Tamoxifen, following an in-competition test at the 2014 BWA British Senior Wrestling Championships. Intelligence was received by UK Anti-Doping in May 2016 that Hosseinpoor may have breached the terms of his ban by undertaking training with the YMCA Wildcats Wrestling club in early 2015. Hosseinpoor is banned from all sport from 2 June 2016 until midnight on 1 June 2017.

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