New Delhi: The silver medal won by Indian athlete Manju Bala at the Incheon Asian Games has been downgraded to bronze after a Chinese participant, then charged with a doping offence, was today reinstated as the gold medallist of the women's hammer throw event.
Chinese hammer thrower Zhang Wenxiu will now be handed back the gold as she has successfully overturned a doping ban after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld her appeal, saying that her positive case resulted from contaminated food.
Zhang had come up with a best throw of 77.33 in the women's hammer throw event of the Incheon Asian Games on September 28 last year but was later disqualified and stripped of the gold medal after a pre-competition test showed traces of the prohibited substance zeranol in her sample.
Another Chinese Wang Zheng (74.16m), who initially bagged silver, was awarded the gold, while Manju's (60.47m) original bronze was upgraded to silver.
But now, Manju will have to be content with the bronze. This will mean that India's medal tally in the Incheon Asian Games will read 11 Gold, 9 silver and 37 bronze.
OCA issued a statement saying that based on further tests, it recognised that Zhang did not commit a doping violation and will return the medal to her.
"The presence of zeranol was, as Zhang asserted in her appeal, caused by eating contaminated food ... Ms. Zhang did not ingest the Prohibited Substance detected in her sample." the OCA said.
According to reports, Zeranol can even permeate into the body merely through contact with the skin.