NADA argues for stiffer punishment

The National Anti-Doping Agency on Tuesday argued for a stiffer punishment for the four women quartermilers who have been banned for one year for doping.

Presenting NADA’s case in front of the three-member appeals panel headed by retired judge CK Mahajan on Monday, its lawyers argued that the athletes have not been able to prove how the prohibited substances entered their bodies.

Out of the six punished by the anti-doping disciplinary committee, Asian Games double gold medallist Ashwini Akkunji, Sini Jose, Priyanka Panwar and Tiana Mary Thomas appealed against the one-year ban before the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) challenged the sentence, asking for a two-year ban.

Arguments over the findings of Mukul Mudgal report and Sports Authority of India report -- on the doping issue -- were heard by the appeals panel.

The NADA lawyer said there is a strong possibility that the athletes may have been taking other banned supplements which resulted in their samples turning out to be positive. The prosecution also pointed to the contradiction in the statements of sacked coach Yuri Ogorodnik given to the media and SAI.
 
The coach in its statement to the SAI had said he made the schedule of supplements and the athletes bought it from the local market.

The lawyer thus questioned the veracity of the athletes’ statement that the supplement was bought from Guangzhou, China.

He argued that even if the supplement was bought from Guangzhou, why did the international athletes not make an effort to find out its ingredients. He further said the coach cannot be blamed for everything.

The prosecution then turned to the crux of their argument and questioned if all the girls had consumed the same contaminated supplement, then how come two of them — Mandeep Kaur and Tiana — were also found positive for stanozolol besides methandienone.

The hearing will continue Tuesday.

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