Athlete Gomathi Marimuthu has come under the spotlight after a report in the Deccan Herald said that the athlete has tested positive for a banned substance. The report by Pragya Tiwari did not name the substance and added that the Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwalla claimed he was unaware of such a development.
Speaking to TNM, Gomathi denied the allegations and said she was yet to get any information about the test results.
"I myself first saw this allegation in the newspaper. I had heard nothing about it before this and have asked the Athletics Federation to give some clarity on the matter," she says.
The athlete further expressed disappointment that her reaction was not sought for.
"I don't know where they got this information from and how can they not even ask me about it. I've got the information about this only now and I am still looking into the matter (of testing positive)," she adds.
The DH report has also said that the athlete may not be going to Poland where a current batch of Indian athletes are currently training.
Gomathi’s elder brother Subramani dismissed the reports, and stated that the allegations are false."We have not received any information regarding the cancellation of the Poland trip. Allegations of Gomathi using any substance are false. I don't know who is saying this," he says.
Gomathi recently won a gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championship. Youngest of four kids, she emotionally recalled the sacrifices and support of her late father during a press conference in Chennai. “My father ate the food kept for cattle in order to provide me with decent food so that I can train for athletics,” she had said.
Hailing from Mudikandam village in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, the 30-year-old athlete won Gold medal in the women's 800m race at the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships held in Doha, Qatar.
She clocked a personal best of 2:02:70 (2 minutes, 2.70 seconds), which included a tremendous run on the final lap after being relegated to sixth place just after the bell. Her previous best (2:03.21) had come on way to gold in the Federation Cup recently in Patiala.
Gomathi effectively juggles between her job at the Income Tax Department in Bengaluru and her training.
Following her win, Tamil Nadu AIADMK government announced a reward of Rs 15 lakhs for Gomathi. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee gifted Gomathi with Rs 5 lakh, DMK Chief MK Stalin presented Rs 10 lakh to the young athlete. Actor Vijay Sethupathi too had gifted her Rs 5 lakh, while actor-composer GV Prakash had gifted her a pair of Nike shoes.