Thursday, October 21, 2010

NADA hearing postponed again

New Delhi:  The NADA Disciplinary Panel hearing the case of 12 dope-tainted athletes, including three in Asian Games squad, was on Thursday adjourned for November 3 after their counsel sought cross examination of officials who conducted the tests.

During hearing, R K Anand, the counsel for the athletes moved an application seeking to cross examine the officials who were involved in the chain of custody of the dope samples, and the panel granted his request.

Twelve athletes had tested positive for methylhexaneamine in the samples taken during Commonwealth Games selection trials. But the NADA panel had lifted the provisional suspension imposed on all of them last month, after the WADA decided to shift the banned stimulant from 'non-specified' to 'specified' substance in the 2011 list of prohibited substances.

Four out of the six wrestlers who flunked dope tests --Rajiv Tomar, Mausam Khatri, Sumit and Gursharanpreet Kaur --missed the just-concluded Commonwealth Games as they were dropped from the squad.

Tomar, Khatri and Kaur have now been named in the squad for next month's Asian Games though Wrestling Federation of India said that they would be removed if the NADA panel imposes ban on them.

Rahul Mann and Joginder Singh are the other two wrestlers facing the NADA hearing.

Swimmers Richa Misra and Jyotsana Pansare were included at the last minute in the Commonwealth Games squad while Amar Muralidharan was not in the CWG squad. Shot Putter Shaurabh Vij was the third dope-tainted athlete to take part in the Commonwealth Games.

Haryana discus thrower Aakash Antil and weightlifter Sanamacha Chanu were the other athletes who tested positive for methylhexaneamine.

At the last hearing on September 27, the three-member panel in a 2-1 decision had held that the tests conducted by NADA during the selection trials for the Commonwealth Games were in-competition tests.

The counsel for the athletes had argued that the tests could not be considered in-competition as they had competed to participate in another event -- Commonwealth Games.

Two members of the panel -- former national badminton champion Dinesh Khanna and doctor N K Khadiya -- held that the tests were in-competition.

Panel chairman Dinesh Dayal, retired additional district judge, however, held that the tests were not in-competition as they were not held in reference to any specific competition.

Dayal even went to the extent of saying that "since methylhexaneamine is a substance banned in-competition I find that these athletes have not committed any dope control violation".

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