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  5. Bajrang Punia, Olympic medallist, suspended again by NADA for Anti-doping Rule Violation

Bajrang Punia, Olympic medallist, suspended again by NADA for Anti-doping Rule Violation

Bajrang Punia was provisionally suspended last month for refusing to provide his urine sample to the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) during the selection trials in Sonipat, Haryana on March 10.

Edited By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: June 23, 2024 14:39 IST
Bajrang Punia.
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Bajrang Punia.

The  National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has provisionally suspended the Olympic Bronze medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia again after sending him a notice of charge for refusing to provide his urine sample. According to a report in The Tribune,"the latest order was issued by NADA on Thursday and he has been asked to respond to the latest suspension by July 11".

Earlier, Bajrang's suspension was revoked by a disciplinary panel as the wrestler had not been issued with a "notice of charge". However, the champion wrestler still has enough time to respond to the notice.

Previously, Punia had alleged that a dope collecting officer (DCO) had tried using expired kits to collect his urine sample a few months ago and therefore he had refused to give his sample.

"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. I then sought an answer from them as the NADA did not provide an answer to any of my communications demanding an explanation for the same and informed them that I would give my sample upon receiving such explanation from them," Punia had mentioned in a statement.

"Even if this incident is treated as refusal, the fact that it was due to NADA using expired kits and not providing an explanation for using them, or giving me comfort, that they had not carried expired kits again, should be considered as a compelling justification. I took such a stance solely because of the NADAs actions in the past, which, in the absence an explanation, could continue a dangerous trend of the use of expired kits or non-compliance with doping control protocol. It is my moral obligation towards the wrestling community and particularly the younger wrestlers, that I exercised here."

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