Top Indian discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after testing positive for a banned steroid. Kaur had made a rapid rise last year as she set a national record of 65.06m in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics.

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She finished second in the qualifying round at Tokyo to progress to the final, where she finished sixth with a best throw of 63.70m. It was the third-best performance by an Indian in a field event at the Games.

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Kaur, 26, now faces the prospect of being banned for a maximum period of four years if found guilty.

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“The AIU has provisionally suspended discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur of India for the Presence/Use of a Prohibited Substance (Stanozolol), a breach of the @WorldAthletics Anti-Doping Rules,” the governing body said in a tweet on Wednesday.

A provisional suspension means the athlete is suspended temporarily from participating in any competition or activity in athletics prior to a final decision that will be taken at a hearing conducted under the World Athletics anti-doping rules or the integrity code of conduct.

Kaur has been issued a notice of allegation by the AIU, an independent body set up by World Athletics. It is not known where and when she was tested but she is in the registered testing pool of World Athletics.

Her sudden improvement last year had raised a few eyebrows but she had earlier denied that she tested positive for any banned drug. Kaur had skipped the Federation Cup last month after aggravating a knee injury while winning gold at the Indian Grand Prix II in Thiruvananthapuram on March 23.