New Delhi: Wrestlers Rajeev Tomar and Mausam Khatri`s two-year suspension imposed by the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (NADP) for flunking a dope Test just before the 2010 Commonwealth Games has been revoked nine months before the end of the term by the appellate body of the NADA.
The NADA appellate body revoked the suspension early citing "delays in the proceedings" of the earlier panel.
2008 Beijing Olympian Tomar and 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist Khatri can now return to action with immediate effect.
Tomar and Khatri were among the 11 Indian athletes, who flunked dope tests for stimulant Methylhexaneamine just before the Delhi CWG. They were provisionally suspended on September 1, 2010 and after a lengthy hearing process and were handed two-year bans on November 5, 2012 by the NADP. The two-year ban was to expire on November 4, 2014.
On appeal by the wrestlers, the National Anti-Doping Appeals Panel (NAAP), headed by Justice M L Varma, found that there were "314 days of delay in the proceedings before the Disciplinary Panel not attributable to the athletes".
The causes of delays mentioned in the order passed on February 11 include unavailability of stenographer, non-availability of NADA counsel, of athlete himself for marriage, of a panel member and of an NDTL doctor, among others.
"The total number of delays unconnected with the athlete and not attributable to the athlete works out to 314 days, i.E. More than 10 months," the order in connection with Tomar said.
"We have noticed that the athlete had already suffered the ban of 1 year and 3 months from the date of the impugned order (passed by NADP) and if he is given benefit of 314 days then the period of two years as mentioned in the impugned order would be completed as of date. Taking a holistic view of the matter, the Panel is of the view that the ban on the athlete must come to an end from the date of this order. This would mean that the athlete would be entitled to participate in the forthcoming sporting events," said the appeals panel order.
The panel, however, made it clear that the "disqualification of results and consequent forfeiture of money and medals and points etc stands confirmed".
Khatri`s case was heard along with that of Tomar on the request of his lawyer. The NAAP found Khatri`s case "identical" with that of Tomar and re-instated him also nearly nine months before his ban period was to end.
A few days back back, another wrestler Rahul Mann, who was also among the 11 athletes tested positive just before the Delhi CWG, was also re-instated in a similar manner by the appeals panel by giving a concession of 389 days for delays not attributable to him.