Bajrang Reiterates 'He Didnt Refused To Give Dope Test', Says NADA Failed To Respond To His Query

(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) Tokyo olympics bronze medalist freestyle wrestler Bajrang Punia reiterated that he didn't refused to give dope test and it was NADA which failed to give answers to his query on sending expired kits for dope test.

Punia has been provisionally suspended by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for failing to provide a urine sample during the trials held in Sonipat on March 10.

Following reports of his provisional suspension order, the wrestler clarified that he never "refused to give his sample" and requested NADA officials for a response about the expired kit which they had sent to collect my sample.

The freestyle wrestler, who competes in the 65-kg weight category, on Friday reiterated his stance in a long post on 'X', and said NADA did not provide an answer to any of his communications, demanding an explanation on sending an expired testing kits, adding that he informed officials he would give his sample upon "receiving such explanation from them."

"This is to clarify that, I have at no stage refused to give my sample for doping control. On 10 March 2024, when I was approached by alleged doping control officials, I merely reminded them that the last two times they came to collect my sample, they had gotten expired kits once and on the other instance, they had approached me with a single testing kit as opposed to the three testing kits," the post read.

"I then sought an answer from them as the NADA did not provide an answer to any of my communications demanding an explanation for the same and informed them that I would give my sample upon receiving such explanation from them. Not only did the doping control officials refuse to provide an explanation, they did not provide me any proof on this instance of them carrying proper equipment and merely left from the venue where I was at, claiming it to be a refusal from my end.

"I continued to be at the venue as I had another bout scheduled for 3/4 position. After my semifinal bout, I met the SAI doctor at the venue for treatment regarding a knee injury suffered during the semi-finals of the Wrestling Trials. I only left the venue about an hour after the alleged doping control officials approached me, contrary to how it has been portrayed that I left immediately," it further read.

"In fact the dope controlling officer should have accompanied me till I submitted my medical report to the competition manager as per protocol, rather than leaving in a hurry in middle of the trials, to record my refusal. Even if this incident is treated as refusal, the fact that it was due to NADA using expired kits and not providing an explanation for using them, or giving me comfort, that they had not carried expired kits again, should be considered as a compelling justification.

"I took such a stance solely because of the NADAs actions in the past, which, in the absence an explanation, could continue a dangerous trend of the use of expired kits or non-compliance with doping control protocol. It is my moral obligation towards the wrestling community and particularly the younger wrestlers, that I exercised here," it read.



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