The defence counsel of Jyotsana Pansare on Thursday made his best efforts to make the point that the teenaged swimmer, who was handed a two-year suspension — along with ten others — for testing positive for methylhexaneamine (MHA), had not taken the drug intentionally to enhance her performance. In a hearing before the NADA Appeal Panel, headed by Justice M.L. Varma, Jyotsana’s lawyer, Vidushpat Singhania, said that the punishment in toto was ‘against the WADA code’ which prescribed at least a reprimand or a period of ineligibility of 0 to two years under article 10.4 (specified substances).

“Here, it becomes four years of punishment as the medals and results earned from August 2010 (when the sample was collected) to 2012 were taken away, and the sanction was imposed for two years from (the date of decision of the NADA Disciplinary Panel) 2012,” said Singhania. The defence lawyer presented several arguments to establish that the use of cosmetic beauty products and aromatic oil for curing asthma (containing geranium oil) could have resulted in the positive result. — Principal Correspondent

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