The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has appealed against the decision of the Indian anti-doping disciplinary panels in the Nirupama Devi doping case.
The Manipur judoka was given a mere reprimand by the disciplinary panel in July last in a methylhexaneamine case.
The decision, the first of its kind in MHA cases in the country, was upheld by the National Anti-Doping Appeal panel (NADAP) in September.
The mildest punishment under Article 10.4 (‘specified substances’) was given on the argument that the judoka used VLCC beauty aid products that contained geranium, which in turn was the source of MHA.
The products, ranging from bathing soap to face pack, were not tested to find out whether they contained MHA. It was taken for granted that since the product labels mentioned geranium and since geranium was supposed to contain MHA, the athlete had established how the banned substance entered her body. Recent studies have questioned the assumption that geranium oil and geranium root extract etc. contained MHA. Several countries have banned supplements containing MHA on the argument that it was not a plant product. This is the second instance of an Indian doping case being taken to CAS since the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) became effective in January, 2009. This is the first time the WADA has appealed in the CAS in an Indian case. Last July, the CAS had handed down two-year suspensions to six Indian woman 400m runners after they were given one-year bans by the national panels. — Special Correspondent