After the Narsingh Yadav episode, a national level woman weight lifter has challenged in Delhi High Court a four-year ban on her for allegedly taking prohibited substance, alleging that she was given laced protein drink by one of her colleagues. The High Court has directed the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) to respond to her plea.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also issued notices to the Centre and CRPF Director General on the petition filed by Sumati Devi, a CRPF inspector who was part of the women’s weight lifting team in 75-plus kg category, and directed them to file their responses by November 21, the next date of hearing.
The petitioner, a permanent resident of Manipur, has sought quashing of the July 8 order passed by the appellate authority on her appeal against the findings of Anti Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP).
Devi has alleged that one of her colleagues, with whom she shared a room in the sports hostel attached to Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here while participating in 63rd All India Police Games Championship in March 2015, had given her a protein drink which was laced with “anabolic steroid”.
She said she was in the hostel room with two other women athletes of CRPF from March 1, 2015 to March 5, 2015, who used to go together for routine practices and have their respective protein drinks and food supplements. She said that in the event held on March 5, 2015, she secured the second position and as the urine sample of first three position holders was collected for screening the presence of any prohibited substance, her blood sample was also taken.
She then participated in the 30th women national weight lifting championship held in Rajasthan during which the NADA issued first notice to her on April 10, 2015 stating that some prohibited substances were found in her body, the plea said. On April 21, 2015, she went to NADA office and explained her case after which she was served with a second notice on April 28.
Explaining the sequence of events, Devi claimed that on March 3, 2015, when she came to her room after her practice, she found that one of her roommates was preparing her protein drink which was offered to her in a friendly manner.
The plea said, “After much deliberation, it had come to her knowledge that one of her roommates/colleagues have given/shared her protein drink/food supplement. By now she is fully convinced that she must have laced the said drink with anabolic steroid during the said sports meet. Accordingly, she has lodged a written complaint to the Director General, NADA, for taking appropriate action against her on May 7, 2015.”
“The petitioner most respectfully submits that she would not be casting any aspersions against a fellow sportsperson for the sake of her defence if she was not fully convinced about what had actually happened. Because it would be unethical on the part of petitioner to keep silent about such an illegal/ misdeed act of a fellow sportsperson (sic),” the plea said.
It said that she was initially provisionally suspended with effect from April 28, 2015.
The petitioner also said she was issued a letter on August 7 that year by ADDP asking her to file her written submissions along with documents but was not informed that she could also produce evidence in her favour as a defence witness.
She said her submissions were straight-away rejected by ADDP maintaining that it was a case of intentional consumption of prohibited substance. Her appeal against ADDP’s order was also dismissed by the appellate authority.