Inderjeet doping case drags on

Athletics

The Inderjeet Singh doping case continues to drag after a scheduled hearing was postponed again on Friday. It has been a year since the shot-putter’s sample was collected prior to the Rio Olympics and he tested positive for testosterone.

Inderjeet’s sample came positive days before the Games for a sample collected on June 22 during training. Another sample collected during competition in Hyderabad, on June 29, also was notified as ‘positive’ after NADA initially informed the federation that it had turned up negative. Inderjeet alleged that there was ‘sabotage.’

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) chief Navin Agarwal said on Friday the delay had occurred on the side of the athlete. “Inderjeet wanted some documents from the lab, which came yesterday. Both parties decided they need time to study them. We will have the next hearing by early next week. We are concerned about the delay, but it has happened because of the athlete who has been postponing the matter due to some thing or the other,” Agarwal told Deccan Herald.

As per the NADA rules, based on the revised 2015 WADA Code, the anti-doping disciplinary panel shall provide a single hearing to the athlete charged in a doping case.

“The Athlete may submit their written submissions with all documents they are relying in support of his/her case before the Anti­-Doping Disciplinary Panel within 20 days from the date of receipt of the notice for the constitution of panel. The same may be supplied in advance in five copies to the office of Anti­-Doping Disciplinary Panel. NADA may also file response to the submissions made by the athlete within 20 days after receiving the reply of the athlete.

“The parties will get an opportunity of a single hearing before the hearing panel. However, the hearing panel at its discretion, may grant adjournments, subject to the condition that the party seeking adjournment would have to bear the cost of hearing, viz. sitting fee and travel expenses of the chairman and members.”

Submission of papers

The process of submission of papers had not even started by mid-April when Inderjeet’s lawyer was waiting for a ruling from the panel regarding his request for the ‘B’ sample to be tested in a different lab. He said NADA had gone ahead and done the testing in the New Delhi lab without waiting for a ruling from the panel.

The rules also make it clear that the hearing “should be completed expeditiously and in all cases within three months of the completion of the result management process,” unless where exceptional circumstances apply.

It is not clear why the panel started the hearing proceedings without the paperwork being completed as stipulated in the rules.

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