Khatri may get a reprieve

Wrestler eligible to compete

The suspension period of wrestler Mausam Khatri, who was handed a two-year ban for methylhexaneamine (MHA) anti-doping violation, will be deemed to be over now following delays during the disciplinary panel hearings, the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADAP) ruled on Saturday.

Khatri was among the batch of 11 athletes who tested positive in 2010 and handed a two-year suspension in 2012. Though the order is yet to be issued, Khatri will be eligible to compete with immediate effect after competing reinstatement test. Like his fellow wrestler Rahul Mann, Khatri too has been given a concession of 389 days, calculated as the period of delay “not attributable to the athlete” during the disciplinary panel hearing proceedings.

The NADAP headed by Justice M L Varma drew parallels with case of Arjuna awardee wrestler Rajeev Tomar despite the objection of the NADA lawyer Ashna Bhagat  who insisted the two cases could not connected as they not heard together and should be decided on individual merit.

The panel stated: “We find the merits to the submission of Mr Anish Dayal (athlete’s counsel) that this case is identical to that of Mr Rajeev Tomar and therefore we are of the view that the appellant today can be and should be disposed of in the same term. We, therefore, give the benefit of days of delays not attributable to the athlete in this case also, as we did in the case of Mr Rajeev Tomar.

“Taking a holistic view of the matter, panel is of the view that the ban on the athlete must come to an end from the date of this order. This would mean that the athlete would be entitled to participate in the forthcoming sporting events. We make it clear that the disqualification of results and consequently, forfeiture of money, medals and points etc as mentioned in article 10.8 in NADA rules stands confirmed. As a result, no advantage would accrue to the athlete for any “deliberate delay” caused by him during the proceedings before the disciplinary panel.”

Khatri now stands to lose his 2010 Asian Games bronze medal and will not be entitled to the government incentive.

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