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[Watch] Wrestler Bajrang Punia alleges NADA officials 'brought expired kit' after being handed Doping ban

Published at :May 5, 2024 at 4:38 PM
Modified at :May 5, 2024 at 4:39 PM
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Ajay Gandhar


Earlier NADA provisionally suspended Bajrang Punia.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang Punia has denied refusing to provide a dope sample during the wrestling trials in Sonepat on March 10, an incident that led to his provisional suspension by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).

In a video statement released on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), the star grappler clarified his stance, alleging that NADA officials brought “expired” sample collection kits which raised concerns.

“I want to clarify the news about me being asked to take a dope test. I never refused to give my sample to NADA officials. I requested them to first answer me as to what action they took on the expired kit they brought to take my sample, and then take my dope test,” Punia said.

The 30-year-old, who was at the forefront of the protests against the erstwhile Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of sexual harassment, hinted at larger forces being at play behind the scenes.

“My lawyer Vidush Singhania will reply to this letter in time,” he added, referring to NADA’s notice seeking his explanation by May 7.

As per reports, Punia left the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Sonepat soon after his elimination from the trials. When NADA officials attempted to collect his sample as per protocol, he refused to comply and exited the premises.

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The dope control officer’s report stated that Punia was warned about the consequences of not providing a sample, but he disregarded the directive.

This suspension has cast a shadow over Punia’s prospects of securing a place in the Indian wrestling contingent for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

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