Were three Indian wrestlers suspended by the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) in 2010?
If so, how come they have continued to participate in international competitions?
These were the questions that cropped up when one came to know that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had been informed by the FILA in 2010 that these wresters were suspended for doping offences for two years each from August 8, 2010.
These three are among the six wrestlers in a batch of 11 sportspersons who have been on trial for methylhexaneamine violations since September, 2010.
Their next hearing is scheduled to come up on May 1.
Recently, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) was also informed, apparently by the WADA, regarding these suspensions.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) officials were not available for comment.
The former Secretary of the WFI, Kartar Singh, when contacted on Thursday, denied any knowledge of a FILA suspension.
Obviously, the suspensions, if correctly reported by the FILA to the WADA, there is no reason to doubt that there could have been a mistake on such a sensitive issue as this, with names of the three suspended wrestlers being forwarded — must have been for the methylhexaneamine violations only.
Yet, it is also beyond logic that an international federation could have intervened in the ongoing disciplinary proceedings of a National anti-doping organisation unless it was to impose a provisional suspension.
This is not the case. The suspensions have been defined, as for two years from Aug 8, 2010 to August 7, 2012 in all three cases.
The dozen athletes who tested positive for methylhexaneamine before the Commonwealth Games, were initially suspended provisionally by the NADA. Later, when the WADA shifted MHA from the ‘non-specified' stimulants group to the ‘specified' group, the hearing panel lifted the provisional suspensions.
Some of them competed in the Commonwealth Games; some others in the Guangzhou Asian Games. Wrester Mausam Khatri won a bronze in the Asiad.
All the three wrestlers, who are supposed to be under suspension, according to the FILA and the WADA records, have competed at the international level throughout 2011. Two of them competed in the World championships in Turkey last year.
One of them was also a member of the Indian team that participated in the Olympic qualification competition at Astana, Kazakhstan, last month.