Glasgow 2014: Weightlifting Gold Medalist Amalaha Fails Urine Test

Chika Amalaha has been provisionally suspended from the Commonwealth Games for failing a drug test.

The 16-year-old claimed Team Nigeria’s first gold medal in the women’s 53kg category on Friday at a combined total of 196kg.

Her ‘A’ sample tested positive for a combination of banned diuretics and masking agent- amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide (referred to as co-amizide in medical terms, and it promotes the loss of sodium and water from the body, but without depleting potassium).

The Rivers State-born teenager will have her ‘B’ sample tested tomorrow.

Chika Amalaha Won Gold in the 53kg Weightlifting Category. Image: Getty Image.
Chika Amalaha Won Gold in the 53kg Weightlifting Category. Image: Getty Image.

She stands the risk of losing her Commonwealth Games Gold and further charges according to the official anti-doping rules, should her ‘B’ sample highlights subsequent adverse findings.

Nonetheless, hydrochlorothiazide is not itself a performance-enhancing drug, it may be used to mask the use of performance-enhancing drugs, and is classed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as a “specified substance”.

Russian cyclist Alexandr Kolobnev was banned from the 2011 Tour de France after Hydrochlorothiazide was detected in the urine, but later cleared of all charges of intentional doping.

Amalaha beat Papua New Guinea’s Dika Toua, 30, and Santoshi Matsa, 20, of India, to Gold in Group A of the women’s 53kg class at the Clyde Auditorium.

She is the first athlete to fail at the ongoing Games, aside some few pre-competition anti-doping rule violations.