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'Never refused to give my sample': Wrestler Bajrang Punia alleges dope-test officials failed to clarify on expired kit
Dope test
Photo courtesy: File image/UNI

'Never refused to give my sample': Wrestler Bajrang Punia alleges dope-test officials failed to clarify on expired kit

| @indiablooms | 05 May 2024, 04:05 pm

New Delhi: Wrestler Bajrang Punia was suspended indefinitely by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on Sunday for not providing urine sample. However, the Olympic silver medallist denied the charge, media reports said.

The grappler said he did not refuse to give his sample to NADA for dope testing but asked the officials to tell him first the steps taken to resolve the issue of the expired sample collection kit they brought a few months back to take his sample.

In a post on X, Punia wrote: "I want to clarify the news about me being asked to take a dope test!!! I never refused to give my sample to NADA officials, I requested them to first answer me as to what action they took on the expired kit they brought to take my sample and then take my dope test. My lawyer Vidush Singhania will reply to this letter in time. Earlier, on Sunday, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) indefinitely suspended the wrestler, a decision that could potentially harm his chances of participating in the Paris Olympics later this year."

Media reports said, citing sources that Punia failed to provide a urine sample during the selection trials in Sonepat on March 10, prompting NADA to issue the suspension order, prohibiting his participation in future events.

Despite being instructed by the dope control officer, Punia, who had previously raised concerns about expired dope-collecting kits in a video, refused to comply, arguing that NADA officials had not addressed his grievances, according to media reports.

As per the dope-collecting officer's report, Punia left the premises even after being warned that his refusal would be considered a violation of anti-doping regulations, said the reports.

Punia has been instructed to submit a written explanation by May 7 regarding his refusal to provide the required documentation and urine sample.

During the trials in Sonipat, Bajrang suffered a defeat to Rohit with a score of 9-3 in the semifinal match. Following this loss, he immediately left the venue and did not participate in the subsequent third-fourth placings bout.

It's worth noting that Bajrang played a leading role in the protests against the former Wrestling Federation of India president and BJP MP, Brig Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexual harassment by six female wrestlers.

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