The National Anti-Doping Agency’s (NADA) Disciplinary Panel has recently announced that Nirmala Sheoran, a 28-year-old Indian 400-meter runner who competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, could be banned for eight years. The reason for the disciplinary action is that she tested positive for testosterone and anabolic androgenic steroids, two drugs known to enhance performance.

This marks the second doping incident for the athlete, who had previously failed a doping test in 2018. Following that occurrence, she served a four-year ban before making a comeback to competitive athletics at the National Inter-State Championships in Bhubaneswar in June last year.

The decision was rendered by NADA’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel on December 27, with the revelation of the information taking place only on Thursday. The eight-year ban is retroactively effective from August 7 of the previous year.

The banned substances, Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) and Testosterone (T), are known as performance-enhancing drugs that facilitate muscle building and strength enhancement. AAS, specifically, are synthetic testosterone, the primary male hormone.

Despite the ban, Nirmala Sheoran retains the option to challenge the decision through an appeal process. Before her initial ban in 2018, Nirmala was widely recognized as one of the top female quarter-milers in Indian athletics. Her accolades included winning gold in the women’s 400m race at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, although she later faced the disqualification of her medal.

Sheoran also represented India at the Rio 2016 Olympics, participating in both the women’s 400m and 4x400m relay events. This recent ban poses a significant setback to her career, prompting discussions about the athlete’s future in competitive sports.