The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered that the four suspended female athletes be allowed to train at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Northern Regional Centre, Sonepat.

While admitting a writ petition filed against their suspensions by the athletes who are also seeking certain reliefs, Justice Vipin Sanghi of the High Court ordered that notices be issued to the respondents including the Union Government and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The case relates to the doping suspensions of the four athletes, Ashwini A.C., Sini Jose, Priyanka Panwar and Tiana Mary Thomas.

They had sought quashing of the order of the National Anti-Doping Appeal panel (NADAP) which earlier this month upheld their one-year suspensions imposed by a disciplinary panel last December.

The names of two other suspended athletes Mandeep Kaur and Jauna Murmu who also figured initially in the petition were deleted later.

The SAI had withdrawn its permission to the athletes to train at the Sonepat centre following an advice from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) against the move since the UNESCO Convention against Doping in Sports prohibited states from extending financial assistance to suspended athletes.

The court directed that the athletes, all 400m runners preparing for the Olympics, be allowed to use the track and the gymnasium at the Sonepat centre.

Justice Sanghi, however, declined to stay the order of the NADAP as pleaded by the athletes for whom Mr. R.K. Anand appeared as counsel. Mr. Gaurang Kanth of Kanth and Associates appeared on behalf of the WADA and the NADA.

The case was posted for May 15.

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