The National Anti-Doping Appeal panel (NADAP) has dismissed an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and exonerated boxer Manjeet Singh.
Manjeet, an international boxer from the Railways and Haryana, was handed a two-year suspension last August by the disciplinary panel for a steroid violation recorded in June, 2010.
He appealed against the decision, seeking exoneration, while the WADA first sought life ban, since this was his second offence, and then modified its plea to ask for an eight-year ban.
The NADAP, headed by Justice C.K. Mahajan, ruled that the boxer bore “no fault or negligence” while accidentally allowing clostebol, a steroid, through the application of clostagen ointment for his wounds suffered in a road accident, to get into his system.
“I have lost nearly two years of my best phase just because of the negligence and manipulation of a nursing staff and the failure of the disciplinary panel to believe my side of the argument,” said Manjeet, speaking from Bhiwani on Monday.
Not the end
This may not yet be the end of the ordeal for the young boxer. He has to hope that the WADA would not further pursue the matter through another appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) even though his hopes of making it to the Olympic squad had been dashed long ago. In what has been a traumatic experience for the 23-year-old international boxer through 21 months, he was first slapped with a doping charge, then accused of manipulating the NIS medical records, and then given a two-year suspension.
The disciplinary panel based its decision almost solely on the finding of 30ng/ml clostebol in his urine sample and stated that such a high level of the substance could not have come through application of an ointment.
The WADA also pinned its case about the level detected. However, the NADAP opined that there was nothing in the level of 30ng/ml when considering the fact that the ointment was applied for three days over abrasions on the boxer's back.
The panel did not agree with the disciplinary panel that the records at the NIS were manipulated by the athlete. However, the panel took serious note of the manipulations done in the medical centre register by the nurse in charge to possibly suppress her own negligence.
Instead of the soframycin ointment prescribed and administered initially by the doctor attached to the boxing team, Dr. Karanjeet Singh, the nursing staff applied clostagen ointment, leading to the ‘positive' test.
The panel also wondered how at an institute like the NIS, where India's elite athletes train, medicines containing banned substances were being kept and used.