Bajrang Punia questions complete silence of NADA

New Delhi: Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist freestyle wrestler Bajrang Punia reiterated that he had not refused to give a dope test and it was NADA that failed to respond to his question about sending expired kits for the dope test.

Punia has been provisionally suspended by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for failing to provide a urine sample during the tests held in Sonipat on March 10.

Following reports of his final suspension order, the wrestler clarified that he never “refused to give his sample” and sought a response from NADA officials regarding the expired kit that they had sent to collect his sample.

The freestyle wrestler, who competes in the 65 kg weight category, reiterated his stance in a long post on ‘X’ on Friday, and said NADA did not respond to any of his communications, seeking clarification on sending an expired test kit. demanded, adding that he informed the authorities that he would give his sample “upon receiving such clarification from them”.

“This is to clarify that, I have not refused to give my sample for doping control at any level. On March 10, 2024, when the alleged doping control officials contacted me, I only reminded them that in the last two The first time they came to collect my sample, they found an expired kit and the second time, they contacted me with a single test kit as opposed to three test kits.”

“I then sought a reply from them as NADA did not respond to any of my communications seeking clarification and informed them that I will give my sample upon receiving a clarification from them. Not only this the doping control officials also did not give an explanation. Refused, they did not provide any evidence on this instance of me carrying the proper equipment and simply walked away from where I was, claiming it was a refusal on my part.

“I remained at the venue as I had another bout scheduled for my 3/4 position. After my semi-final bout, I met the SAI doctor at the venue for treatment of a knee injury sustained during the semi-finals of the wrestling trials. Alleged I left the venue almost an hour after the doping control officials contacted me, contrary to what was shown, I left immediately.”

“Actually the dope control officer should have stayed with me till I submitted my medical report to the competition manager as per protocol instead of leaving hurriedly in the middle of the trials to record my refusal. Even if the incident was treated as a refusal “The fact that this was due to NADA using expired kits and not giving any explanation for their use, or giving me solace that they did not repurchase the expired kits, should be considered a compelling justification.”

Bajrang wrote, “I have taken this stance solely because of NADA’s actions in the past which, in the absence of clarification, may continue the dangerous trend of use of expired kits or non-compliance with doping control protocols.” It is my moral responsibility towards the wrestling community and especially the young wrestlers with whom I trained.


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