NADA suspends Bajrang Punia for refusing dope test

| Updated: 08 May, 2024 5:45 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Tokyo Olympics Bronze medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia has been suspended by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). In a letter dated 23rd April, NADA informed the ace wrestler of his provisional suspension on an immediate basis. This prevents Punia from participating in any wrestling competition or activity.

“With subject to paragraph 4:1:2 below and by article 7.4 of the NADR 2021, Bajrang Punia has been immediately provisionally suspended from participation in any competition or activity before the final decision reached a hearing in this matter,” said the letter released by NADA.

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Punia’s suspension comes amidst his refusal to submit urine samples. After losing his trial bout in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers on 10th March, Punia was approached by NADA officials for the sample collection. He reportedly left the venue without providing his urine sample.

Bajrang Punia while responding to the NADA’s suspension letter denied refusing to give a urine sample. In a tweet posted on X, the Padma Shri awardee said, “I want to clarify about a report about my dope test. I never refused to give my sample. I requested a response about the expired kit they sent to collect my sample. I told them to please give me a reply and take my sample. My lawyer Vidhusphat Singhania will reply to this notice soon.”

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The NADA’s suspension arrives as a setback to Punia, whose chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics have now taken a serious hit.

Bajrang Punia with fellow wrestlers, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat were at the forefront of the protests against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The protest in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against Brij Bhushan led to the charges being framed against him and a court verdict is awaited on this case.

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