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Wrestler Bajrang Punia Given Indefinite Suspension By Doping Body: Report | Wrestling News

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The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) suspended wrestler Bajrang Punia indefinitely, a move that could potentially jeopardise his bid to compete in the Paris Olympics, which is scheduled to be held later this year. According to sources, Punia failed to provide his urine sample for the selection trials at Sonepat on March 10, prompting NADA to issue the order suspending him from participation in any future events. “With subject to paragraph 4:1:2 below and in accordance with article 7.4 of the NADR 2021, Bajrang Punia has been immediately provisionally suspended from participation in any competition or activity prior to the final decision reached at a hearing in this matter,” read an official release from NADA dated April 23.

Punia, along with a line of other top wrestlers, including Olympians Sakshi Malik and Vinesh; was at the forefront of former BJP MP and president of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accusing him of sexual harassment.

Following his suspension in light of the charges, Punia, who won the country a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, is likely to be barred from participation in the selection trials that are scheduled for later this month. No Indian has yet won an Olympic quota in the 65kg category.

Sujeet Kalkal will represent India at the World Qualifiers, which are set to get underway in Istanbul on May 9.

The suspension notice was addressed to the Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) now-defunct ad hoc committee, as opposed to the federation that is recognised by United World Wrestling (UWW).

Punia, who a few months prior released a video claiming to have expired dope-collecting kits, disregarded the dope control officer’s directive, claiming that NADA officials had not yet addressed his concerns.

According to the dope-collecting officer’s report, he left even though he was informed that his refusal would result in a warning for breaking anti-doping rules.

“Punia, surrounded by his supporters, continuously repeated his statement and immediately left the venue refusing to give a dope sample,” the DCO stated in his report.

Punia was asked to present a written justification by May 7 for his refusal to submit supporting documentation and a urine sample.

“If you do accept the consequences, the case will be resolved without further disciplinary proceedings, subject to the right of appeal. If you disagree, the matter will be referred for adjudication to the anti-doping disciplinary panel,” the letter stated.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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