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  5. NADA's disciplinary panel revokes Bajrang Punia's suspension until Notice of Charge

NADA's disciplinary panel revokes Bajrang Punia's suspension until Notice of Charge

The National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) had suspended India's Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia on April 23 and the United World Wrestling had also taken a similar action against the India wrestler.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: June 04, 2024 7:21 IST
Bajrang Punia.
Image Source : PTI Bajrang Punia.

The Disciplinary Panel of the National-Anti Doping Agency (NADA) has revoked the provisional suspension imposed on Bajrang Punia until NADA issues a Notice of Charge to the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist.

The suspension was previously announced by NADA after Bajrang had declined to provide his sample for a dope test after the selection trials in March.

The incident had unfolded on March 10 during the national men's trials for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The 30-year-old wrestler had refused to give his urine sample after losing a bout and had not participated in the 3rd-4th place match.

The Haryana-born had challenged the suspension with the help of his lawyers and clarified that he had never denied providing his sample but wanted to know why NADA had sent an expired kit to collect his sample.

"The hearing panel is of the opinion that at this stage when Notice of Charge is yet to be issued to the Athlete and without going into the merits of the submission/explanations/justifications given by the Athlete for refusing to give the sample and counter the submission of Ld. Counsel appearing for the NADA, the provisional suspension of the Athlete is revoked till NADA decides to issue Notice of Charge formally charging the athlete for violation of Anti-doping rules, 2021," read the ADDP order as quoted by PTI.

If the Notice of Charge is not issued to the athlete then the matter will be closed, however, if NADA goes on to issue a Notice of Charge then a final hearing will be conducted.

"The Hearing Panel is of the opinion that that it is premature to go into the merits and demerits of the submission made by both the parties as Notice of Charge specifying the charges against the Athlete are yet to be issued by the NADA," Bajrang's lawyer Vidushpat Singhania told PTI.

"Therefore, at this stage, when only notification is issued, the Panel cannot embark upon the enquiry regarding the allegations thereby examining the issues touching upon the merits of the case and making the procedure prescribed under Article 8 of the Anti-Doping Rules, 2021, as redundant," he added by confirming that Bajrang is free to compete now.

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