All the six wrestlers who tested positive for a stimulant were given an opportunity to explain their case before the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) Director General, Rahul Bhatnagar, on Saturday.
The provisional hearing, a mandatory requirement to enforce provisional suspension, having been completed, shortly after the wrestlers witnessed the ‘B' sample testing procedures at the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), all preliminary procedures have been completed.
The provisional suspensions will stand. As and when the ‘B' sample tests are reported, and confirmations obtained, their cases will be referred to the Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel. The NADA is making efforts to conduct the hearings on an ‘expedited' basis considering the proximity of the Commonwealth Games and the importance of giving a fair chance to those who have now been removed from the Indian team.
There was some confusion regarding the naming of Joginder among the wrestlers who had tested positive. The NADA on Thursday had written to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) that freestyle wrestler Joginder had tested positive for methylehexaneamine.
However, according to a WFI official, when Delhi-based Joginder (120kg) approached the NADA on Friday, it became clear that actually his namesake (from Haryana) belonging to 55kg weight category in Greco-Roman style had tested positive for the banned substance.
The development has relieved the WFI in a big way as it has decided to field Joginder (120kg) in place of Rajeev Tomar, who had also returned a ‘positive' test, for the Commonwealth Games.
Earlier, the WFI had named Praveen, a grappler belonging to 96kg class, as Tomar's replacement. “This has brightened up our chance again in 120kg freestyle,” said WFI Secretary Kartar Singh on Saturday.
Kartar said if any of the wrestlers, who were facing anti-doping rule violation charges, come clean in the ‘B' sample testing, or after the hearing, then they would return to the National side for the Commonwealth Games. He said in genuine circumstances the WFI could field a replacement in the squad six hours before the weigh-in.