Bajrang Punia refuted claims of not giving his urine sample for doping control after United World Wrestling (UWW) suspended him for the same until December 31, 2024, on Thursday.  

Posting on social media platform X, Punia said, “This is to clarify that, I have at no stage refused to give my sample for doping control. On 10 March 2024, when I was approached by alleged doping control officials, I merely reminded them that the last two times they came to collect my sample, they had gotten expired kits once and on the other instance, they had approached me with a single testing kit as opposed to the three testing kits.”

“I then sought an answer from them as the NADA did not provide an answer to any of my communications demanding an explanation for the same and informed them that I would give my sample upon receiving such an explanation from them. Not only did the doping control officials refuse to provide an explanation, but they did not provide me with any proof on this instance of them carrying proper equipment and merely left from the venue where I was at, claiming it to be a refusal from my end,” the wrestler added. 

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“I continued to be at the venue as I had another bout scheduled for 3/4 position. After my semifinal bout, I met the SAI doctor at the venue for treatment regarding a knee injury suffered during the semifinals of the Wrestling Trials. 

“I only left the venue about an hour after the alleged doping control officials approached me, contrary to how it has been portrayed that I left immediately. In fact, the dope-controlling officer should have accompanied me till I submitted my medical report to the competition manager as per protocol, rather than leaving in a hurry in the middle of the trials, to record my refusal. 

“Even if this incident is treated as refusal, the fact that it was due to NADA using expired kits and not providing an explanation for using them, or giving me comfort, that they had not carried expired kits again, should be considered as a compelling justification. 

“I took such a stance solely because of the NADAs actions in the past, which, in the absence of an explanation, could continue a dangerous trend of the use of expired kits or non-compliance with doping control protocol. It is my moral obligation towards the wrestling community and particularly the younger wrestlers, that I exercised here,” concluded Punia. 

NADA suspended Bajrang on April 23 for his ‘refusal’ to give his sample during the selection trials for Olympic qualifiers in Sonipat on March 10.

As per UWW records, Bajrang has been suspended until December 31, 2024, for “being provisionally suspended” by NADA “for alleged anti-doping rule violation (ADRV).”

The athlete, through his counsel Vidushpat Singhania, on Tuesday filed a reply to the NADA notice and is yet to have a hearing of his case before an anti-doping disciplinary panel.

Even though the provisional suspension by NADA, which is a competent authority, is valid for all competitions and activities till the charge is disposed of, it is not clear how UWW reached the specific date up to which Bajrang stands suspended.