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Olympics Medalist Bajrang Punia Suspended by NADA for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

Olympic bronze medalist wrestler Bajrang Punia has been suspended by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for a second time for refusing to provide a urine sample during selection trials. This suspension comes after NADA revoked his previous suspension due to procedural issues. Punia’s legal team plans to challenge the suspension, arguing he did not refuse to provide a sample but sought clarification on expired kits used previously.


NADA initially suspended Bajrang Punia on April 23 for refusing to give a urine sample during selection trials in Sonepat on March 10. The global governing body for wrestling, United World Wrestling (UWW), also suspended him. Punia appealed, and the Anti-Disciplinary Doping (ADDP) panel revoked the suspension on May 31, citing that NADA had not issued a formal “notice of charge.”

Current Suspension

On Sunday, NADA served Punia with a formal notice of charge, reinstating his provisional suspension. The notice stated Punia violated Article 2.3 of the National Anti-Doping Rules, 2021, for refusing to submit a urine sample. Punia has until July 11 to request a hearing or accept the charge.

Punia’s Defense

Punia’s defense claims he did not refuse to provide the sample but demanded a response from NADA regarding expired kits used for sample collection in December 2023. His lawyer, Vidhushpat Singhania, confirmed they will file a reply challenging the suspension.

NADA’s Explanation: NADA explained that despite multiple requests and detailed explanations from the Doping Control Officer (DCO) about the consequences, Punia refused to provide the urine sample. NADA emphasized that if the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) is upheld, it could lead to the disqualification of results, forfeiture of medals, points, prizes, and possibly financial penalties.

Bajrang Punia : Key points

Personal Background

    • Full Name: Bajrang Punia
    • Birthdate: February 26, 1994
    • Birthplace: Khudan, Jhajjar, Haryana, India

Wrestling Career

    • Specializes in the freestyle wrestling category.
    • Competes primarily in the 65 kg weight class.

Major Achievements

    • Olympics: Bronze medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (held in 2021 due to COVID-19).
    • World Wrestling Championships: Multiple-time medalist, including a silver and a bronze.
    • Asian Games: Gold medal in 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.
    • Commonwealth Games: Gold medals in 2018 Gold Coast and 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
    • Asian Wrestling Championships: Multiple gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Awards and Honors

    • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: India’s highest sporting honor, awarded in 2019.
    • Padma Shri: The fourth highest civilian award in India, awarded in 2019.

Recent Controversy

    • Suspension by NADA: Suspended on April 23, 2023, for refusing to provide a urine sample during selection trials in March 2023.
    • Legal Challenge: Initial suspension revoked on May 31, 2023, due to procedural issues; re-suspended after a formal “notice of charge” was issued.
    • Defense: Claims refusal was due to concerns over expired testing kits used in a previous test in December 2023.
    • Deadline for Response: Given until July 11, 2023, to request a hearing or accept the charge.

Training and Coaching

    • Trained under various coaches, including well-known Indian and international wrestling coaches.
    • Has trained in various international wrestling facilities to improve his techniques and skills.

Impact and Influence

    • Role Model: Considered a role model for aspiring wrestlers in India.
    • Contributions: Known for advocating better training facilities and support for wrestlers in India.

Personal Life

    • Known for his disciplined lifestyle and dedication to the sport.
    • Actively involved in promoting wrestling and supporting young athletes through mentorship and training camps.

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