CAS overturns NADA panel ruling; hands 2-year ban on judoka

New Delhi: Judoka Nirupama Devi has been handed a two-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Switzerland after two panels of National Anti-Doping Agency here only reprimanded her in a case of Methylhexaneamine (MHA) doping.

The verdict issued by Lausanne-based CAS may have impact on other MHA cases pending in the NADA involving national athletes.

Nirupama`s urine sample, collected during Senior National Judo Championship in Kolkata in January 2012, tested positive for Methylhexaneamine, a stimulant that is prohibited during in-competition as per the Anti Doping Rules of the NADA. The `B` sample analysis of also confirmed `A` sample finding in her urine sample by National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL).

NADA referred the case to the Anti Doping Disciplinary Panel before which she argued that she used VLCC beauty products over a long period of time, which happened to contain geranium oil which could be a source of MHA in her body.

The Disciplinary Panel was satisfied with the athlete`s submissions and handed -- on July 17 last year -- a sanction of a "reprimand" with no further ineligibility.

NADA appealed against the decision. But the Anti Doping Appeal Panel (ADAP) upheld the decision of Disciplinary Panel on September 10 last year. This led to World Anti Doping Agency seeking the intervention of the CAS by filing an appeal against the decision of the ADAP on November 12 last year.

After considering the written submissions submitted by both WADA (appellant) and the athlete (respondent), the CAS panel found that the VLCC products do not contain MHA and the MHA concentration as detected in athlete`s urine sample was on much higher side (2000 ng/ml).

The CAS verdict also indicated that the source of MHA in athlete`s body was oral and not by any cutaneous absorption (as pleaded by athlete in her defense). And because the athlete failed to explain the source of MHA in her body, the ineligibility cannot be reduced.

Upholding the appeal of WADA, the CAS issued order on November 8 that Nirupama be sanctioned an ineligibility of two years starting from May 1 and period of voluntary provisional suspension served by her (89 days) shall be credited against the total period of ineligibility to be served.

Further, all competitive results obtained from January 11 last year -- the date of sample collection -- including the results in Senior National Judo Championship held in Kolkata shall be disqualified with all the resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.