A National Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel (NADDP) on Tuesday reserved its order in the Sunita Godara petition dealing with
hundreds of doping cases from 1991 in which disciplinary action was not taken despite ‘positive' dope tests.
Former Asian marathon champion Sunita Godara, appearing before a panel headed by Sudhir Nandrajog, argued that between 2005 and 2008, there were 148 cases where no action was initiated despite ‘positive' test reports.
The Godara petition, demanding action against people who carried out “institutionalised” doping between 1991 and 2008, claimed that records were incomplete in respect of over 600 test reports, leading to many of the sportspersons going unpunished despite ‘positive' dope tests.
The petitioner had originally filed a case in the Delhi High Court in 1998 seeking follow-up action on dope tests carried out by the Dope Control Centre (DCC) under the Sports Authority of India (SAI). In 2009, the court transferred the case to the NADDP ruling that the panel may take an appropriate action as it deemed fit.
The WADA Code has a statute of limitations which makes it obligatory for any action to commence within eight years of an anti-doping rule violation.
The panel also wanted to know from Godara and her counsel, Dalbir Singh, her husband, what authority it had to proceed against athletes reported from 1991 and under what rules they could be proceeded against. Godara was asked to submit additional documents to clear the air regarding rules to be applied for charges dating back to 1991 even as Nandrajog reserved the panel's order.
The WADA Code came into effect from January 1, 2004. Prior to that, from January, 2000, the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code (OMADC) was the relevant document. Before that the international federations had their own rules in dealing with doping matters.