The National Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel has ordered that an opinion be sought from the Principal Scientific Director of the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), Shila Jain, as to the claim made by athlete Vipin Kasana that stanozolol could remain in the body even four months after administration of the drug.

Kasana, a javelin thrower from Delhi, who won the gold at the last National Games in Ranchi, with a personal best throw of 77.22 metres, is facing an anti-doping rule violation charge for the use of stanozolol, a steroid.

Kasana told a hearing panel headed by lawyer Jasmeet Singh on Thursday that he was prescribed Winstrol injection (stanozolol) by a doctor before the games and that was how he turned in a ‘positive'.

When Dr. N.K. Khadiya, the doctor member of the panel, confronted him with the assertion that stanozolol, in injection form, would not stay in the body for four months, as was being argued by the athlete, Kasana claimed he had consulted Dr. Shila Jain of the NDTL and according to her it was possible that traces of the drug could remain in the body for that long a period.

The normal detection time for stanozolol, in injection form, is generally in the range of a little over two months. Apparently, Kasana was administered just one injection for a routine ailment.

What relevance an expert opinion could have about the elimination time of a drug in a case like this is debatable. For, steroids are not drugs that could be taken by athletes merely on the strength of a doctor's prescription.

The mention of Dr. Shila Jain caused a flutter among officials of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and panel members at Thursday's hearing.

Personnel of the WADA-accredited laboratories are expected to provide “independent, scientifically — valid expert testimony” only if they are requested by either party or the tribunal to appear before an arbitration or court hearing. “Laboratory experts should not be an advocate to either party,” says the International Standards for Laboratories.

Keywords: NADANDTLVipin KasanaWADA

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