Shot putter Inderjeet handed a four-year ban

Asian champion and Asian Games bronze medallist Inderjeet Singh has been banned for four years over a doping violation.

Shot putter Inderjeet tested positive for banned steroids and was provisionally suspended by NADA.   -  AFP

Following a long-drawn case lasting more than one-and-a-half years, a National Anti-Doping Agency Disciplinary Panel on Wednesday suspended former Asian champion and Asian Games bronze medallist Inderjeet Singh for four years over a doping violation.

Shot putter Inderjeet, who was tested twice - on June 22, 2016 and June 29, 2016 - out-of-competition and in a competition respectively, tested positive for banned steroids and was provisionally suspended by NADA.

The case moved on from one panel to another as the athlete strongly contested NADA’s claims on several grounds, including departures from the established international standards in sample collection, analysis and chain of custody.

The athlete’s counsel, Anish Dayal, highlighted that there were inconsistent readings between ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples, technical error on analyser which was the main equipment for the IRMS test, possible microbial degradation and several other issues.

The NADA counsel, however, rejected Inderjeet’s arguments on the ground that there was no apparent inconsistency in the readings and claimed that there was no serious departure from the international standard of testing and investigations.

The panel, headed by Manik Dogra, noted that neither NADA nor the National Dope Testing Labrotary (NDTL) owned up the departures from international testing standards. “The procedure clearly deviated from the documented WADA guidelines,” said the order.

Nevertheless, the panel did not agree with the athlete that these deviations vitiated the entire testing procedure and resulted in the adverse analytical finding (AAF).

“We hold that while there have been serious departures from the WADA guidelines, however, the athlete has failed to conclusively establish that these deviations had a direct nexus or did in fact result in the AAF.”

Inderjeet, who will turn 30 in October, will serve four years of suspension from the date of his provisional suspension about a year ago.