Jithin Paul suspended for possessing banned substance

In a first of its kind instance in India, the National Anti-Doping Agency disciplinary panel has handed a four-year suspension to quartermiler Jithin Paul for the “possession” of a banned substance.

Since Jithin Paul was put under provisional suspension from May 22 last year, the period would be deducted from the total of four-year suspension.   -  R. Ragu

In a first of its kind instance in India, the National Anti-Doping Agency disciplinary panel has handed a four-year suspension to quartermiler Jithin Paul for the “possession” of a banned substance.

In an order issued on Wednesday, the disciplinary panel held that Paul, a 400m hurdles National Open champion and a South Asian Games silver medallist in 2016, “has been found in possession of” prohibited substance meldonium, a non-specified substance, in his room at the NIS Patiala during a search conducted by the NADA on April 17 last year and “the athlete had no reasonable justification for possession of the prohibited substance in his room.”

The panel rejected Paul's submission that no search or seizure memo was prepared at his room or any document was handed over to him as token of acknowledgement of items found from his room and suspended him for violating Article 2.6 of NADA Code.

Since Paul was put under provisional suspension from May 22 last year, the period would be deducted from the total of four-year suspension.