The National Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel (NADDP) reserved its order in the Adrian D' Souza doping case on Wednesday, expressing doubts about the arguments put forward by the former India hockey goalkeeper in his defence of a cannabinoids charge.

D'Souza had tested positive for tetrahydrocarbinol (THC), a metabolite of marijuana, in the sample collected at Jalandhar after a match in the World Series Hockey competition last April.

He was asked to submit corroborative evidence to support his argument that he had probably ingested the substance through smoking at a party in Mumbai. He did not admit that he had smoked marijuana nor did he say that someone was willing to admit that he had supplied such a cigarette to the player.

D'Souza came to the hearing on Wednesday armed with an affidavit signed by a friend (Vikas) who also had attended the party in Mumbai on March 15 last, six days prior to the WSH match.

The panel chairman, Dinesh Dayal, remained unconvinced with the evidence submitted.

“This doesn't say he gave you cigarette (laced) with marijuana,” the retired judge told D' Souza.

D'Souza said that neither he nor his friend knew which cigarette contained marijuana.

Dayal was also concerned about the quantity of THC measured in his urine sample (28.7ng/ml against the decision limit of 18ng/ml).

He told the player that the level detected could not be explained by the six-day gap he was admitting.

D'Souza who had claimed that he had accepted a ‘voluntary provisional suspension' from April also could not produce documents to support his contention.

The player submitted a letter stating that Joaquim Carvalho, of WSH, had told him not to compete following intimation of the ‘positive' test from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) last April.

Dayal told the player that the panel could only consider a letter from him to the IHF, stating his acceptance of a ‘voluntary provisional suspension', and proof of the federation or the NADA having received such written intimation.

There is no provisional suspension for a ‘specified substance', which THC is, in the NADA rules.

However, athletes are free to accept a provisional suspension which would be adjusted against the total period of suspension when a decision is given.

Article 10.4 of the NADA rules allow for a reduced sanction for ‘specified substances' provided an athlete proves how the banned substance entered his body and he did not take it to enhance his performance. Sanction can then range from a mere warning to two years of suspension depending on the ‘degree of fault'.

The order will be issued by the panel on June 18.

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