MP athlete, who missed Olympics, gets clean chit

Bhopal: The National Anti-Doping Agency’s appeals panel on Friday set aside shot-putter Inderjeet Singh’s four-year suspension, handed by NADA’s disciplinary panel. Singh, who hails from Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh, tested positive ahead of Rio Olympics in 2016 and the charges forced him to miss the sporting extravaganza.

The Anti Doping Appeals Panel (ADAP) panel comprising lawyer Vibha Datta Makhija, Dr Harsh Mahajan and former player Vinay Lamba pronounced that the identity and integrity of the samples collected by NADA were compromised.

It was learnt that Inderjeet’s OOC test happened at his Bhiwani residence on June 22, 2016 where he gave (urine) sample in installments from 9:30 PM to 11:30 PM. As per norms, in case an athlete gives his sample in installments, a partial kit (separate container) needs to be used, which wasn’t done by the Doping Control Officer (DCO).

The chain of custody was broken when the DCO, who collected the sample, kept it in a refrigerator at his residence from 11:45 PM on June 22, 2016 to 2:45 PM June 23, 2016. The period when the DCO stored the sample at his residence was “unauthorised” as per norms and there always remains a possibility of the sample getting compromised, reported PTI.

This is the first time in Indian sport when an athlete has been exonerated after testing positive twice for banned substances. Inderjeet is now free to compete, but there could be an appeal from WADA, in the Court of Arbitration (CAS).

”I have lost two-and-a-half years of my sporting life but I am grateful to the panels at NADA for giving us a patient hearing and a decision in my favour,” said Inderjeet Singh, shot-putter.