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NADA Suspends Bajrang Punia Again Over Doping Violation

Bajarang Punia

The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has suspended Bajrang Punia for a second time on June 23, just three weeks after the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) had lifted his previous suspension. The initial suspension was revoked because NADA had not issued a formal ‘notice of charge’ to the wrestler.

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Bajrang, a bronze medallist from the Tokyo Olympics, was originally suspended by NADA on April 23 for refusing to provide a urine sample during selection trials in Sonepat on March 10. The World Governing Body, UWW, had also suspended him.

Bajrang appealed against the provisional suspension, and on May 31, the ADDP revoked the suspension pending the issuance of a formal charge notice by NADA. Acting promptly, NADA issued this notice to Bajrang on Sunday.

The official communication from NADA stated, “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 you are now provisionally suspended.”

Bajrang has until July 11 to either request a hearing or accept the charge.

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The wrestler has maintained his innocence, asserting that he never refused to provide the sample but sought a response from NADA regarding the use of expired kits for sample collection in December 2023.

NADA clarified its actions, stating, “The Chaperone/DCO approached you and informed you of the requirement to provide a urine sample for doping analysis. Despite several requests and detailed explanations of the consequences, you refused to provide your sample until NADA responded to your email about the expired kits used previously.”

NADA emphasized that if the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) is upheld, it will seek the disqualification of results from the event in question, along with the forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes. Additionally, NADA may choose to recover financial costs associated with the ADRV or impose a fine as per the NADR, 2021.

This latest development adds to the ongoing saga surrounding Bajrang Punia and his compliance with anti-doping regulations.

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