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NADA Panel Lifts Bajrang’s Provisional Suspension

The National Anti-Doping Agency’s (NADA) Disciplinary Panel has lifted the provisional suspension imposed on Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia until a notice of charge is issued for violation of anti-doping rules. This decision follows the May 13 online hearing where Bajrang presented his defence.

In April, the said suspension was handed out due to the athlete’s refusal to provide a dope sample during the Sonipat trials. The same was in accordance with the provisions of the National Anti-Doping Rules, 2021. In an X post, the Tokyo Olympics Bronze Medallist clarified that he never refused to provide his dope sample but requested NADA officials for an explanation regarding the action taken on the expired kits sent in December of last year. Pursuant to NADA’s decision, United World Wrestling (UWW) also suspended the athlete till the end of the year. Despite the new development, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) reportedly cleared the athlete’s proposal for training in Russia and sanctioned almost Rs. 9 lakhs for the same. Bajrang, however, cancelled his training plan later.

In the meantime, the legal battle between protesting wrestlers including Bajrang and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) over non-conformity with the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011, continues, with the Delhi High Court set to hear the matter next on August 8.[1]

[1] Bajrang Punia and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors. [WP(C) 3164 /2024]