Indian hockey goalie Chitke’s suspension reduced to 13 months

The National Anti-Doping Agency concluded that Akash Chitke did not take the prohibited substance "intentionally." He was suspended for a minimum of two years for using banned anabolic steroid (Norandrosterone) during a test conducted in 2018.

Akash Chitke

It is a relief of sorts for goalkeeper Akash Chitke as NADA reduces his two-year doping suspension to 13 months. (Biswaranjan Rout)   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Hockey goalkeeper Akash Chitke’s two-year dope suspension was  reduced to 13 months after the National Anti-Doping Agency concluded that the player did not take the prohibited substance “intentionally“.

Chitke, a former India player, was provisionally suspended by NADA’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) for a minimum of two years for using banned anabolic steroid (Norandrosterone) during an out-of-competition test during the senior team’s hockey camp in Bengaluru on February 27 last year.

But Chitke’s punishment has been reduced by the Anti-Doping Appeal Panel (ADAP) following a hearing on Thursday.

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“The Disciplinary Panel after going through all the records concluded that the appellant had not committed the anti-doping violation intentionally,” the ADAP said in its judgement.

“We are therefore of the opinion that the ineligibility of 4 years (later reduced to a minimum of 2 years) imposed on the appellant is erroneous and must be substituted by the benefit available to the appellant under the NADA Anti-Doping Rules, 2015.

“We hereby modify the order of the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel and subsequently the ineligibility of 4 years under Article 10.2.1 from the date of the appellants provisional suspension, i.e. 27-03-2018, is modified to a period of 13 months,” it added.

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Chitke’s urine sample report had Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) for 19-Norandrosterone (19 NA, metabolite of Nandrolone or its Precursor) at a concentration level greater than 15 ng/ml, Androgenic Anabolic Steroid, which is non-specified substance as per NADA/WADA prohibited list.

Once Chitke’s ‘B’ sample also showed similar AAF finding, a hearing was conducted on August 13 last year. The player appeared before the panel and he said he had consumed medicines prescribed by his doctor for treatment of the index finger on his left foot.

While it was proved that Chitke neither sought Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) Certificate) nor did he mention about the injection taken on the Doping Control Form, he was able to establish that he had no knowledge of the injection prescribed by the physician, whom he consulted in Pune.

Thus, he was able to avoid the maximum sanction of four years and he later appealed against the two-year suspension, which has now been reduced to 13 months.