NADA panel reserves order in D'Souza case

The three-member National Anti-Doping Agency panel headed by retired judge Dinesh Dayal on Wednesday reserved the order in the case of former India hockey  goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza, who tested positive for tetrahydrocarbinol (THC), a metabolite of marijuana, in the recent World Series Hockey (WSH) tournament.

D’Souza, who was asked to give specific details to corroborate his explanation that the banned substance entered his body through smoking in a party in Mumbai, presented written statements from his friends to the panel.

However, Dayal was not satisfied as they only mentioned that cigarettes were passed onto the player and did not specify whether they were laced with marijuana.

D’Souza’s reply mentioned the party took place on March 15 to which Dayal asked that how come he tested positive six days later for a level of 28.7ng/ml (nanogram per millilitre) of THC. D’Souza could only say he did not smoke before the match.

The decision limit for THC is 18ng/ml, according to the 2010 WADA Technical Document.
The hockey player, who was not represented by any lawyer and came alone for the hearing, found himself in a spot of bother when Dayal read the written statement of Joaquim Carvalho, a Technical Committee member of WSH,  which stated they had orally directed D’souza to stop playing after intimation was received from the NADA.

Dayal said there was nothing called “oral suspension” and if he indeed had taken a voluntary provisional suspension, he should have given in writing to the Indian Hockey Federation or NADA and received a confirmation that his communication had been noted.
The Air India player had claimed he had voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension and had not played in any competition since the NADA communication. Though the NADA rules do not provide for a provisional suspension for THC, an athlete can accept a voluntary provisional suspension in all doping cases.

In order to get a reduced sanction under Article 10.4 (specified substances like THC) an athlete has to prove how the banned substance entered his body and he did not take it to enhance performance.

The order will be issued on June 18.

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