NADA panel condemns wrestler's forgery

The Justice G.C. Bharuka-headed appeal panel, which upheld the four-year suspension handed to the wrestler, noted that the disciplinary panel found the prescription to be "fake" and refused to give any credence to it.

NADA

Yogesh had produced a forged medical prescription before the disciplinary panel.   -  Sushil Kumar Verma

In a rare case, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) appeal panel has gone on record condemning the forgery committed by a wrestler in his attempt to prove his innocence in an anti-doping rule violation case.

Yogesh, whose urine sample collected at the 56th National wrestling championship on October 30, 2015 in Delhi tested positive for a banned non-specified substance furosemide (diuretic), had produced a medical prescription before the disciplinary panel. He claimed that he was administered lasix injection on October 28, 2015 after getting unconscious due to hypertension and the positive result might have occurred due to the injection.

The Justice G.C. Bharuka-headed appeal panel, which upheld the four-year suspension handed to the wrestler, noted that the disciplinary panel found the prescription to be “fake” and refused to give any credence to it.

The appeal panel also raised doubts about the genuineness of the document and asked the NADA to verify the authenticity of the prescription from the Hindu Rao Hospital.

In its reply, the competent authority of the hospital said that no such doctor, in whose name the prescription had been issued (Dr Anshu Garg), had ever worked in the Hindu Rao Hospital.

The appeal panel concluded that the prescription produced by Yogesh was “an effort of crude forgery and manipulation…Such efforts are liable to be deprecated in the strongest words. We hold that the defence raised by the appellant is totally fraudulent and therefore unacceptable.”

Yogesh’s counsel Vidushpat Singhania said he had no clue about the forgery. “As a counsel you believe what your client says. It is not possible for me to examine the authenticity of every document provided by the client. When Hindu Rao Hospital sent its reply, I said I cannot take up this matter and left it to the panel,” said Singhania.

The appeal panel, which also ordered the wrestler to pay a cost of Rs 10,000 to NADA, left it to the NADA Director General “to take such exemplary punitive steps against the appellant as he finds permissible in law.”

Since the NADA Director General does not have the authority to punish any athlete, he can recommend to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to take appropriate disciplinary steps against Yogesh in order to discourage others from committing such forgery.