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Bajrang Punia Provisionally Suspended by Wrestling Authorities

The United World Wrestling (UWW) has provisionally suspended Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia until December 31, 2024, following his suspension by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for his ‘refusal’ to provide a urine sample.

NADA’s Suspension for Refusal to Provide Sample

On April 23, NADA suspended Bajrang Punia for his ‘refusal’ to provide a urine sample during the selection trials for Olympic qualifiers in Sonipat on March 10.

According to UWW records, Bajrang has been suspended until December 31, 2024, for “being provisionally suspended” by NADA “for alleged anti-doping rule violation (ADRV).”

Bajrang’s Response and Hearing Pending

Bajrang Punia, through his counsel Vidushpat Singhania, filed a reply to the NADA notice on Tuesday and is yet to have a hearing of his case before an anti-doping disciplinary panel.

While NADA’s provisional suspension is valid for all competitions and activities until the charge is disposed of, it is unclear how UWW arrived at the specific date of December 31, 2024, for Bajrang’s suspension.

Bajrang’s Explanation and MOC’s Decision

Bajrang Punia explained that he never refused to give his sample but wanted NADA officials to explain why they were using an expired kit to take his sample.

Despite the suspension, the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) sanctioned ₹8,82,000 plus air fare (actual) for Bajrang’s proposal to train at Dagestan, Russia, from May 28. Initially, his proposal was for a 35-day training trip from April 24, but due to “conflicting travel dates due to his whereabouts failure,” he chose to defer the travel plans to May 28.

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