Olympics medalist Bajrang Punia suspended by NADA for anti-doping rule violation

  • According to NADA, Punia refused to provide his urine samples to the apex body after objecting to the usage of allegedly 'expired kits' by NADA.

Livemint
Updated23 Jun 2024, 07:24 PM IST
India's Bajrang Punia reacts during the 19th Asian Games, in Hangzhou, China. (PTI Photo/Gurinder Osan/File)
India’s Bajrang Punia reacts during the 19th Asian Games, in Hangzhou, China. (PTI Photo/Gurinder Osan/File) (PTI)

Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist wrestler Bajrang Punia on 23 June was suspended for anti-doping rule violation by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), the wrestler's lawyer Vidushpat Singhania confirmed.

According to NADA, Punia refused to provide his urine samples to the apex body after objectiong to the usage of allegedly 'expired kits' by NADA and sought a reply from the governing body regarding the same.

Though being warned by the Doping Control Officer (DCO) of the consequences of not submitting his urine sample, Punia did not provide the samples, PTI quoted NADA as saying.

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"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 efforts made by the DCO, you had refused to submit for the sample collection," said a document from NADA.

Bajrang has been given time till July 11 to respond to the notice.

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"You have until 11.07.2024, to admit the asserted ADRV(s) (anti-doping rule violations), waive a hearing and accept the proposed Consequences by signing, dating and returning the acceptance of consequences form. enclosed with this letter," said the notice.

In case the violations done by Punia are upheld, NADA warned that consequences could be: "-Disqualification of results in the event during which the ADRV occurred, commission of the ADRV with all resulting consequences including forfeiture any medals, points and prizes. -A period of Ineligibility subject to potential elimination, reduction or suspend pursuant to Article 10 of the NADR of 4 years. -Automatic publication of sanction."

"Please note that any consequences shall have a binding effect on NADA, the Wrestling Federation of India as well as every signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code in all sports and countries," added NADA.

Earlier on 23 June, Punia was provisionally suspended by NADA for allegedly refusing to provide a sample of his urine when a dope-control officer from NADA approached him. The agency reached following his bout at the selection trials for the Paris Olympics qualification tournament in Sonepat on 10 March, 2024.

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On 25 April, the United World Wrestling (UWW) imposed a provisional banon Punia until December.

The UWW back then, stated on Punia's profile on its website: "Suspended for the following reason until Dec 31, 2024. Provisionally suspended by NADO IND for alleged ADRV (Anti-Doping Rule Violation)."

Meanwhile, Punia took to X after this and said he had ‘never refused’ to give his sample to NADA officials.

He wrote, "This is to clarify that, I have at no stage refused to give my sample for doping control. On 10 March 2024, when I was approached by alleged doping control officials, I merely reminded them that the last two times they came to collect my sample, they had gotten expired kits once and on the other instance, they had approached me with a single testing kit as opposed to the three testing kits."

With agency inputs.

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First Published:23 Jun 2024, 07:24 PM IST
HomeSportsathletics newsOlympics medalist Bajrang Punia suspended by NADA for anti-doping rule violation

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