Two leading athletes, javelin thrower Om Narayan and hammer thrower Madhu Kumar, have appealed to the National Anti-Doping Appeal panel seeking a review of the two-year suspensions imposed on them by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).

They were suspended in April last for turning in ‘positive' reports from dope tests conducted by the NADA. Both had argued then that they were told by a Patiala doctor that they were deficient in testosterone and accordingly they were administered the drug after procuring it from a store in Delhi. Om Narayan and Madhu Kumar, both National champions in 2009, were suspended for two years from December 16, 2009. The hearing will resume on July 5.

On Monday, lawyer T. S. Khehar, appearing on behalf of both the Railway athletes, pleaded their cases be considered under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code which provided for milder sanctions for the use of “specified substances”.

Khehar produced documents, which he claimed were medical prescriptions for the athletes, recommending testosterone use, to support his argument that the athletes were not at fault. The lawyer brought in the ‘exceptional circumstances' rule to seek either a reprieve or a reduced sanction for the athletes.

The panel, headed by Justice C. K. Mahajan, retired High Court judge, including Dr S. Ramakrishnan and Olympian Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, sought further details from the counsel about the authenticity of the documents.

Keywords: dopingWADA