Imphal: For the last two and half years, life for a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist and weightlifter Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu from Manipur was left in lurch and kept in dark. The doping charge against Chanu by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) had almost pushed her prospective career to the edge of quitting the game.
Now, after IWF, on the recommendation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), dropped the doping charge and investigation against Chanu due to non-conformities, the woman athlete from Manipur has been named for the prestigious 2018 Arjuna Award.
However, since the struggles she had gone through, especially the mental torture and the amount of time she has lost due to administrative blunders and grossly mishandling, Chanu feels that such disoriented attitude cannot be ignored. She has now demanded a written clarification from the international organisation on the wrongful doping case towards her and sought compensation.
“This last two and half years have been the most difficult juncture for me and for my family. Because professionally, I was doing very well by bringing laurels to the country and my home state, and unexpectedly I was charged for dope in 2018,” said the sentimental Chanu.
“The wrong allegation charged against me had almost caused my life but later, I realised that I must continue to live on to fight for my right and finally, justice has prevail,” she added.
Despite missing chances at the Olympics and various other important events, the girl with a tenacious set of mind is not quitting and aiming high for more medals at the upcoming international and national championships.
The unceasing support from her family, especially her younger brother Khumukcham Bijen Kumar, during the course of their fight for justice was magnanimous and admiring. They fought the long drawn legal battle well.
“We are happy that my sister’s name has been cleared from the charged but our bigger question on who is responsible for such humiliation and tormented life is yet to be answered,” Bijen Kumar said.
Born to Khumukcham Lukhoi Meitei and Khumukcham O Takon Leima of Kakching Khunou Umathel Awang Leikai in Thoubal, Chanu won her first prestigious Commonwealth Games (CWG) gold medal at the age of 20 in 2014 in Glasgow.
Later, she went on to bagged another gold medal at the CWG in 2018 at Gold Coast in 53 kg category.