NADA suspends Bajrang again, serves him ‘notice of charge’


PTI, Jun 23, 2024, 5:08 PM IST

Bajrang Punia, (Source: PTI / File)

New Delhi: The National Anti-Doping Agency on Sunday suspended Bajrang Punia for a second time, three weeks after its Anti-Disciplinary Doping (ADDP) panel had revoked his suspension on the grounds that NADA had not issued a “notice of charge” to the wrestler.

NADA had on April 23 suspended the Tokyo Games bronze medallist wrestler for refusal to give his urine sample for dope test during the selection trials held in Sonepat on March 10. The sport’s global governing body United Wrestling World (UWW) had also suspended him.

Bajrang had appealed against the provisional suspension and the ADDP had revoked it on May 31 till NADA issues the notice of charge.
Swinging into action, NADA on Sunday served the notice to the wrestler.

“This serves as a formal notice that you are being charged with the violation of Article 2.3 of the National Anti-Doping Rules, 2021 and now you are provisionally suspended,” said NADA’s communication to Bajrang.

Bajrang has time till July 11 to request for a hearing or accept the charge.

The elite wrestler has maintained that he never refused to give sample but only demanded to know NADA’s response to his e-mail where he wanted to know why expired kits were sent to take his samples in December 2023.

Bajrang’s lawyer Vidhushpat Singhania told PTI they will challenge the suspension.

“Yes, we will have to file a reply,” Singhania said.

NADA also explained the reason for its action.

“Chaperone/DCO had duly approached you and informed you that you were required to provide a urine sample for dope analysis purposes.

“Even after several requests made by the DCO, you had refused to provide your urine sample on the ground that you would not provide the sample unless NADA replies to your email regarding the issue of expired kits, which were used by the concerned DCO who had come to collect the sample of the athlete for the dope test about two months ago.

“Following your refusal to submit to sample collection, the DCO of NADA had also explained to you in detail, about its consequences and outcomes under the NADR, 2021.

“Despite all the efforts made by the DCO, you had refused to submit for the sample collection.”

NADA made it clear that if Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) is upheld, it will seek “disqualification of results in the event during which the ADRV occurred, commission of the ADRV with all resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.”

The NADA may, at its discretion, also opt to recover from Bajrang the financial costs associated with the ADRV or impose a fine as provided in the NADR, 2021.

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