Sixteen-year-old weightlifter Chika Amalaha’s record-breaking Commonwealth Games gold medal performance is under a doping cloud after she returned a positive test.
The diminutive Nigerian made headlines when she became the youngest woman to win a Commonwealth weightlifting gold medal after taking out the 53kg class in Glasgow on Friday.
She set a new Games record with a 85kg lift in the snatch on her way to an overall winning weight of 196kg and told AAP her story of overcoming family opposition to compete in her sport.
“Weightlifting is a great sport but my family didn’t like me doing it as they said it would make me muscly and unattractive and stop me from having children,” she said.
“I had to get my coach to speak to them. She has four children and she proved that it was OK to lift and have a family.
“I told them it’s not about muscle, it is about technique. But they are happy now and they will be very pleased that I have won gold.”
Now all that is in jeopardy, with the CGF identifying her as the first athlete to test positive during the Glasgow Games.
Amalaha has been provisionally suspended after her A sample allegedly revealed traces of a diuretic and a masking agent. Her B sample will be tested in London on Wednesday.
If found guilty of a doping she faces being disqualified, suspended and stripped of her gold medal.
Papua New Guinea veteran Dika Toua took the silver in Friday’s contest while India’s Santoshi Masta claimed bronze with her countrywoman Swati Singh fourth and Australia’s Erika Ropati-Frost fifth.
Hooper said the banned substances had been identified as amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide, both prohibited under class s5 of WADA’s Prohibited List.
“Ms Amalaha has pursued her right to have her B sample tested, which will take place at the accredited laboratory in London on July 30,” he said.
Earlier this week, Hooper said the Games were using an “anywhere, anytime” testing regime, which focused on a targeted approach at the Games and out-of-competition testing in the lead up.
He said medal winners were not necessarily being tested at these Games, but estimated about 1000 athletes would be randomly tested during competition.
Tests conducted prior to the beginning of the Games have already resulted in the suspension of two Welsh athletes – European 400m hurdles champion Rhys Williams and 800m runner Gareth Warburton.