Swimming Stars Receive 3-Month Doping Ban, But Given Green Light for SEA Games

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Indra Gunawan will face a three-month ban, but has been given the all-clear for competition at the SEA Games in December. (SP Photo)

Two Indonesian swimmers, Indra Gunawan and Guntur Pratama, who tested positive for a banned substance at July’s Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Korea have been given a three-month ban from local and international competition and been told they may be stripped of their medals, the Indonesia Anti-Doping Agency (LADI) announced on Monday.

“According to FINA [International Swimming Federation], the LADI disciplinary committee has decided to sanction the two swimmers with three-month bans from competition,” LADI head of the sanctions committee Cahyo Adi said.

The sanction will take effect from Aug. 13 until Nov. 13.

Cahyo has recommended that both swimmers be stripped of their medals. Indra won Gold in the 50 meters breast stroke, while Guntur was part of the 4x50m and 4x100m freestyle relay teams that won Silver and Bronze, respectively.

Indra and Guntur both tested positive for methylhexanamine according to a letter from the Olympic Council of Asia last month.

The OCA’s doping commission sent an official letter to the Indonesia Olympic Committee (KOI) saying it required B samples for examination before confirming the A sample results. Usually, B sample tests occur if a banned substance is detected in an A sample.

The Indonesian Swimming Association (PRSI) welcomed the decision taken by LADI and said it would continue to prepare the two swimmers for the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar in December.

“It is a good decision so we can assure both swimmers participate in the Myanmar Games,” said Heru Purwanto, head of PRSI athletes’ development. “They are our favorites for medals, especially Indra who we hope will win two golds.”