MHA hearing adjourned

The hearing on methylhexaneamine (MHA) cases, involving 11 Indian athletes, were on Wednesday adjourned till September 19 by the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel headed by retired judge Dinesh Dayal.

The cases have been in progress for more than 20 months. The hearing will continue for three days till September 21.

The day's hearing saw defence counsel R K Anand continuing with his arguments. He began by once again raising the questions on transporting conditions of the athletes’ samples and said the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) had failed to give any “satisfactory” explanation on the points raised by him regarding ‘external chain of custody’.

Delayed supply

Anand said the laboratory had delayed supply of documentation package by six months and even now the documentation was not complete.

The lawyer said he found it strange that 14 athletes across the country had tested positive for MHA, about which no one had heard before.

He expressed his dissatisfaction over the sample storage procedure and aliquot preparation insisting there was no separate control zone.

He said the lab did not the follow the WADA rules regarding verification of the integrity of the samples and the external chain of custody while taking receipt of the samples. Anand went on to challenge the analytical testing of the samples by the NDTL.

Anand then argued for the “dismissal” of the case saying there was no initial review done by a competent authority. It was here that Dayal questioned the relevance of the review, asking how it mattered today whether the review was done or not two years ago.

Review needed

Anand said without a review, the panel had no jurisdiction to decide on the case and it was only after the review that NADA could send a notice of an anti-doping rule violation.

He also pointed out discrepancies in the analysis, saying the calculation in the retention time (RT) of the samples was wrong and the figures in the official documents were “deliberately planted”.

He said the NDTL method was faulty at every step and did not follow international standards.

Swimmers Richa Mishra, Amar Muralidharan and Jyotsana Pansare, wrestlers Rajeev Tomar, Rahul Mann, Sumeet, Joginder, Mausam Khatri and Gursharanpreet Kaur and athletes Saurabh Vij and Akash Antil are facing charges of MHA use.

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