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Wrestler Bajrang Punia charged with anti-doping rule violation, suspended again as NADA formally issues a notice of charge

Bajrang Punia has time to respond until 11th July against the notice from NADA over his suspension.

On Sunday (23rd June), wrestler Bajrang Punia was formally issued a “notice of charge” by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for refusing to give his urine sample for a dope test earlier this year. Consequently, NADA has again provisionally suspended him, a month after his initial suspension. Notably, a disciplinary panel had revoked his suspension because the anti-doping agency had not issued him a ‘notice of charge’. However, NADA has now issued the same and provisionally suspended him.

Speaking with India Today, Bajrang Punia’s lawyer, Vishuspath Singania said, “Yes we have received the notice and will certainly respond to it. Last time also, we had attended the hearing, and this time also we will file our reply. He hasn’t done anything wrong, so will fight.” 

OpIndia had earlier reported that Punia was provisionally suspended last month after he refused to provide his urine sample to NADA during the selection trials in Sonepat on 10th March this year. Notably, on 10th March 2024, Punia suffered a crushing 1-9 defeat against Rohit Kumar in the men’s freestyle 65kg semifinal. After losing the bout, Punia refused to give his urine sample for a dope test and stormed out of the premises of the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The NADA officials tried to take a sample from Bajrang Punia for a dope test, but he left even without competing for the third-fourth place bout.

Punia, who had previously shared a video alleging expired dope collection kits a couple of months ago, refused to comply with the dope control officer’s (DCO) order on the pretext that NADA officials were yet to respond to his concerns. The DCO’s report noted that he left despite being informed that refusal to provide a dope test would result in a notice for violating anti-doping rules. The DCO’s report said, “Punia, surrounded by his supporters, continuously repeated his statement and immediately left the venue refusing to give dope sample.”

However, Punia’s lawyer, Vidhusphat Singhania, successfully got Punia’s provisional suspension lifted when the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) determined that NADA had made an error by not formally charging him with a violation of anti-doping rules.

As per a report in Tribune, the latest order was issued by NADA on Thursday and he has been asked to respond to the latest suspension by 11th July.

While Punia had received temporary relief, the ADDP had allowed NADA to officially charge him with refusing to hand over his urine sample. In its order on 31st May, ADDP had stated, “If NADA decides to issue a notice of charge to the athlete, the matter be expeditiously listed before the hearing panel for final hearing.” 

Now, Bajrang Punia has time to respond until 11th July against the notice.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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