After a month-long delay, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has stated that it was ready to conditionally withdraw its appeals in the cases involving weightlifter Pradeep Sharma and sprinter Sharadha Narayana with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), leaving the National Anti-Doping Appeal panel to adjudicate in the matter.
The National Appeal panel, headed by retired High Court Judge C.K. Mahajan had ruled that the WADA could not maintain two appeals, one at the national level and the other at CAS, in the same case and it would have to withdraw its CAS appeal in order for him to continue hearing either case on merits.
The WADA has now informed that it would withdraw its appeals provided the Mahajan panel confirmed that it (WADA) had jurisdiction over these cases; that the appeals filed by the WADA were formally admissible; that the panel would render decisions on the merits of the case; and that the WADA would have the right to appeal to CAS against the decisions of the panel.
Justice Mahajan, who had acknowledged WADA's right to appeal at the National level, and the CAS's right to deal with any WADA appeal against his panel's decision, is expected to give his approval to the WADA proposal soon.
Sharma, a Punjab lifter, had tested positive for testosterone at the National championship in Udaipur in February, 2010. He was reprieved by a hearing panel on the argument that he was advised testosterone therapy by a doctor.
Sharadha, a Tamil Nadu and Railway athlete, had tested positive for steroid stanozolol at the National championship in Kochi in May last year. She was exonerated on the grounds that she had a knee injury and had medical prescriptions and investigation reports to back her claim that she had gone by the doctor's advice.