Mann ban may be reduced

The National Anti Doping Appeal Panel (NADAP) on Friday indicated that it was likely to reduce the suspension period of wrestler Rahul Mann by backdating the start of his suspension because of the delays during the disciplinary panel proceedings between 2010 and 2012.

Though the final order in the appeal by Mann is yet to be issued by the NADAP headed by Justice M L Varma, it was clear on Friday that the wrestler would be eligible to compete with immediate effect since a total of 389 days was calculated as the period of delay “not attributable to the athlete” during the disciplinary panel hearing stage.

Mann’s case happens to be one of the 11 methylhexaneamine anti-doping violation that dates back to August-September, 2010. In a long-winding disciplinary proceedings all 11 were given two-year suspensions in November 2012 by a panel headed by Dinesh Dayal. All results achieved by the athletes from sample collection date were also ordered to be annulled.

Mann’s lawyer Vidushpat Singhania had argued before the appeal panel that his client deserved to get more than 250 days reduced from his total period of suspension, backdating the beginning of the suspension start, because of the delays caused by various agencies. NADA lawyer Rahul Kumar had challenged it.

The Varma panel arrived at a figure of 368 days of delay that could not be “attributed to the athlete”, in its opinion, and coupled with the 21 days that Mann had undergone as provisional suspension, the final figure was put at 389.

The “delays not attributable to the athlete” were calculated on the basis of adjournments sought by NADA lawyer, absence of NADA lawyer, absence of chairman of the hearing panel, delay in receiving documentation from NDTL etc.

If this happens, the wrestler becomes eligible with immediate effect in the Asian Games year since he has already served one year and three months of the original two-year suspension and with the concession given now, he would be deemed to have completed his suspension period.

 Justice Varma said all the results achieved by Mann from sample collection date would be annulled, and consequent forfeiture of money and medals and points would be confirmed  just as ordered by the disciplinary panel.

Meanwhile, the hearing in Arjuna awardee wrestler Rajeev Tomar’s appeal was completed on Thursday. The final order has been reserved and is expected within a few days

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