The 16-year-old Aryaan Bhatia became the first Indian tennis player to fail a dope test and has been put under provisional suspension, the National Anti-Doping Agency announced on Friday.
His urine sample was collected during the Fenesta Open National Tennis Championship held in the capital, in October last year. It was the first time when NADA collected samples from tennis players during the championship.
Aryaan Bhatia has reportedly tested positive for Prednisolone, a substance found in a cough syrup that he took on doctor’s advice. If the documentation is in order, a panel may even be inclined to exonerate him or let him go with just a reprimand. #AntiDoping #Tennis
— G Rajaraman (@g_rajaraman) February 15, 2019
As claimed by All India Tennis Association Secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee, it is taken as a case of ignorance and the banned substance entered into Aryaan’s body was due to the medicine prescribed to him by a doctor.
Chatterjee said “It’s a case of ignorance, a mistake has been made. The player had cold and he took medicine as prescribed by a doctor. He was not aware that the medicine carried banned substance. He has already appealed and it will be heard soon. ”
He further said that they will put the fact strongly before NADA that the junior player made a mistake due to lack of awareness.
Other Athletes Suspended
Seven other sportspersons were provisionally suspended last month by the national anti-doping watchdog for flunking dope tests.
The list includes names like Sandeep Kaur (powerlifting), Ankit Gosai (handball), Jithu Thomas (volleyball), Yaiphaba (canoeing), Vishan Singh (kayaking and canoeing) and Shivam Kasana (cycling).
Monika Chaudhary, a middle distance runner, moved to Delhi High Court to secure a trial ahead of last year’s Asian Games. She was later tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) and has been handed a four-year ban by the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP).
Also, hockey player Bharat Singh and hammer thrower Gunjan Singh were handed four years ban by the ADDP.
Jagtar Singh, a decathlete was banned in 2017 during the Federation Cup Athletics Championships because of the positive results for Meldonium. His ban period is reduced from four years to two years by the ADDP.
The NADA also said that it has conducted 675 dope tests, including 57 blood samples, in the last month.
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