Four-year doping ban for India’s Commonwealth weightlifting champ

New Delhi, India: India's Commonwealth Games weightlifting gold medal winner Ravi Kumar Katulu has been banned for four years after failing a drug test, a top anti-doping official told AFP on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old Kumar, who won the 69kg title at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a silver in 2014 (77kg), tested positive for Ostarine, media reports said.

Ostarine helps increase muscle mass though is not available to the public.

"Ravi Kumar has been suspended for four years," National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) director general Navin Agarwal told AFP without naming the substance involved.

Ostarine is a "selective androgen receptor modulator", or SARM, which doping experts say has been increasingly used as an alternative to steroids. No country has yet allowed its use as a medicine but it is widely available on the black market.

The ban is a new blow for scandal-tainted Indian weightlifting, which has been restricted to only four Olympic places — two men and two women — in Tokyo next year because of its high number of doping cases.

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