Bajrang Punia suspended again by NADA for anti-doping rule violation

Renowned Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia faces a second suspension by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), just a month following his initial suspension.

Previously, a disciplinary panel had lifted his suspension due to the absence of a formal charge notice. However, NADA has now issued this notice, complicating the Olympic medalist’s situation.

According to NADA, Punia refused to provide a urine sample during the Sonipat trials on March 10, leading to his suspension for violating doping rules.

NADA’s latest order was issued on Thursday, requiring Punia to address the new suspension by July 11.

Punia had his initial provisional suspension overturned after the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel ruled that NADA erred in not formally charging him with the rule violation.

Punia has resisted cooperation with NADA officials, citing their failure to address his concerns about the use of expired kits for doping tests.

The Dope Collecting Officer’s report noted that Punia departed the venue despite warnings that his non-compliance would result in a notice.

The Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, in its May 31 order, mentioned that should NADA issue a charge notice, the case should be swiftly brought before the hearing panel for a final decision.

This year has been particularly challenging for Punia, who, aside from the doping charges, must confront the prospect of missing the Paris Olympics despite earning a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, following a defeat to Sujeet Kalkal in the March selection trials.

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