Dope scandal appeal hearing adjourned for Jan 27

New Delhi: The appeals hearing on the one-year ban on India`s four top quarter-milers, including Asian Games double gold medallist Ashwini Akkunji, before a National Anti-Doping Agency panel was today adjourned for January 27.

The NADA Appeals panel, headed by Justice (retd) C K Mahajan, fixed January 27 as the date for hearing after the apex anti-doping agency sought more time to study the appeals.

Akkunji, Sini Jose, Tiana Mary Thomas and Priyanka Panwar were each handed one-year ban by a NADA disciplinary panel, headed by retired district judge Dinesh Dayal, last month after they were caught using banned steroids.

All the four quarter-milers filed appeals to the Justice Mahajan-led Appeals panel against the one-year ban, which virtually ruled all of them out of London Olympics.

Two other banned athletes, Mandeep Kaur and Juana Murmu, cannot appeal to the NADA panel as they were caught during tests conducted by the IAAF.

NADA had already decided not to file a counter appeal for an enhanced period of suspension that was widely expected in such high-profile cases.

The six athletes had successfully argued before the Dayal-led panel that the banned steroids entered their body through the food supplements given to them by their Ukrainian coach Yuri Ogordonik who was sacked after the doping scandal broke out.

The `ginseng` food supplements were tested at National Dope Testing Laboratory here and were found to be contaminated by steroids.

Based on this, the Dayal-led panel ruled that there was "no significant fault or negligence" on their part in consuming the food supplements.


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