Bajrang Punia calls NADA arrogant, says he is being targetted

Wrestler Bajrang Punia on Monday alleged that NADA was targeting him for pointing out flaws in their system and vowed to challenge the arrogance of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), which he claimed wants to end his sporting career.

Bajrang was suspended by NADA for the second time on June 24 after the wrestler got relief from the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) of the agency.

The ADDP had lifted the first suspension on the grounds that NADA had not officially charged him for doping by serving the wrestler a formal notice.

NADA then issued the notice to the Tokyo Games medallist and suspended him again.

“This shows how NADA is targeting me, they don’t want me to continue wrestling at any cost,” Bajrang posted on X.

Bajrang was suspended for refusing to provide his sample during the selection trials held in Sonepat on March 10. He had lost the trials and thus missed out on the chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

The 30-year-old multiple-time World Championship medallist claimed that he never refused to give a sample but only sought an answer to why NADA sent an expired kit for sample collection in December 2023.

He asked the same question again in a long post.

“They have no answers and they don’t want to take responsibility for their mistakes. They just want to harass the athlete to get rid of him. NADA doesn’t want anyone to question their wrong ways and if someone does, he is targeted so that he cannot continue his sport.

“Why doesn’t NADA answer about the expired kit? Why doesn’t NADA answer how an unregistered chaperone who was not named in the mission order approached and pressured me for sample collection? Why doesn’t NADA answer why I was pressured to collect samples between two matches when they knew I had only 20 minutes to prepare for the next bout,” said Bajrang.

Bajrang said he won’t go down without a fight.

“If NADA wants to challenge the grit and determination of wrestlers to stand up for their rights for the sake of their arrogance, let them do it. The wrestler is here and will fight till the end. My lawyer will file his reply on time,” he wrote.

Bajrang has time till July 11 to request for a hearing or accept the charge.

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