NADA adjourns Vij's hearing

Shot putter Saurabh Vij’s hearing in a steroid violation case was adjourned on Wednesday to October 8 by the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel.

This was the 25-year-old Delhi athlete’s second offence. He was among the 12 athletes caught for methylhexaneamine violations in 2010 and the order of the long-winding cases involving 11 of them were reserved only on Monday.

Vij’s lawyer Rohit Kaliyar, in the written reply to the charge made out by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has pointed at a four-day delay in transportation of the athlete’s sample to reach the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) from Patiala.

He challenged the external chain of custody of the sample. The reply even listed 14 witnesses that he wanted to cross-examine in the case to substantiate the defence's claim that there were discrepancies in collection, storage and transportation of the sample.

Vij has also alleged sabotage, saying he had taken juice that was apparently spiked by some other athlete which could have led to him turning up a positive in his urine sample.

Food supplements

The claim was strongly rebutted by NADA lawyer Rahul Kumar who questioned why the athlete at the time of sample collection wrote that he only took food supplements and was now coming up with a new theory after two months since his hearing began.

Vij had tested positive for testosterone at the Indian Grand Prix at Patiala last April.

The panel comprising chairman RS Chauhan, Dr NK Khadiya and Dinesh Khanna also asked why Vij didn’t protest the lab procedures when his “B” sample was opened in his presence.

Kumar sought time to file a reply to Vij’s claims and the panel agreed.

Vedict announced

Meanwhile, the verdict was announced by the same panel in other two cases.

Discus thrower Simranjeet Singh, who tested positive for testosterone during the  All India Police Athletics Championship here last March, has been suspended for two years.

So is long jumper Suraj Gogai, who tested positive for nandrolone during North East Games in Aizawl in March.

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