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Wrestling

Bajrang Punia's suspension lifted until further notice from NADA

The National Anti-Doping Agency's Disciplinary Panel has lifted wrestler Bajrang Punia's suspension until a formal Notice of Charge is issued.

Bajrang Punias suspension lifted until further notice from NADA
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Bajrang Punia is a Tokyo Olympics bronze medal-winning wrestler. (Photo credit: SAI)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 3 Jun 2024 2:40 PM GMT

The National Anti-Doping Agency's Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) has lifted the provisional suspension of renowned wrestler Bajrang Punia, pending the issuance of a formal Notice of Charge by NADA. The decision came on Monday after Bajrang challenged the suspension, which was originally imposed when he refused to provide a sample for a dope test following selection trials in March.

Bajrang, a Tokyo Games bronze medallist, was suspended by NADA on April 23, and the international wrestling body, United World Wrestling (UWW), also enacted similar measures. The suspension followed an incident on March 10 during trials in Sonepat for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers, where Bajrang left the venue without providing a urine sample after losing a bout. He subsequently did not participate in the match for the 3rd-4th place.

In his defense, Bajrang’s legal team argued that he did not refuse to give a sample but had demanded clarification on why NADA had not responded to his earlier complaint about an expired testing kit sent to him in December 2023.

The ADDP, in its order, stated that without delving into the merits of Bajrang’s explanation or the arguments presented by NADA’s counsel, the provisional suspension would be revoked until NADA formally charges him with an anti-doping rule violation.

"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," the ADDP stated in its order as per PTI.

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