NADA suspends Bajrang Punia again

Bajrang Punia
Bajrang Punia. File Photo: Reuters/Anushree Fadnavis

New Delhi: The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on Sunday suspended Bajrang Punia for a second time, three weeks after its Anti-Disciplinary Doping Panel (ADDP) had revoked his suspension.

The NADA had on April 23 suspended Tokyo Games bronze medallist wrestler for refusal to give his urine sample for dope test during the selection trials held at Sonepat on March 10. World Governing body United World Wrestling had also suspended him.

Bajrang had appealed against the provisional suspension the and ADDP had revoked it on May 31 till NADA issued the notice of charge.

Swinging to 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 star wrestler has maintained that he never refused to give sample but only demanded to know NADA's response to his email where he sought answer why expired kits were sent to take his samples in December, 2023.

The 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 (National Anti-Doping Rules) NADR, 2021.

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

NADA made it clear that the 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 elect to recover from Bajrang the financial costs associated with the ADRV and or impose a fine as provided in the NADR, 2021.

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