The National Anti-Doping Appeal panel (NADAP) has reduced the suspension period of former hockey goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza from one year to three months in an anti-doping rule violation case.

The panel, headed by Justice C.K. Mahajan (retd.) observed in its order of Monday last that the sanction of one year, for a cannabis offence, would be “too harsh on the athlete.”

The order stated: “The panel imposes a sanction of three months on the athlete commencing from the date of (the) order of Disciplinary Panel. Accordingly the order of the Disciplinary Panel is modified to the extent aforesaid.”

There is some confusion regarding the commencement date of his suspension since the appeal panel order has stated that the disciplinary panel decision was dated June 8 last, though it actually was dated June 18. The disciplinary panel had ordered that his suspension would commence from June 7, the day he was supposed to have requested a provisional suspension.

‘Reinstatement test’

However, D’ Souza may have to undergo a ‘reinstatement test’ in order to return to competition if the rules of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) are followed.

D’ Souza had tested positive for tetrahydrocarbinol (THC), a metabolite of marijuana, in a World Series Hockey (WSH) match at Jalandhar last March.

He contended during the hearing that he had smoked a cigarette provided by a friend at a party in Mumbai without knowing that it was laced with marijuana. The Mahajan panel observed that it was less likely that his friends would give him a marijuana-laced cigarette at a party at his friend’s place, but he should have taken precautions.

“However, taking into consideration the facts of the case and the nature of the substance the athlete’s negligence cannot be considered to be significant,” the panel stated in its order.

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