Runner Paul pleads guilty, banned for four years
The Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) has suspended 400m runner Jithin Paul for four years for possessing a banned substance.
In a report, a copy of which is with Mail Today, the panel has stated the Kerala-born athlete is guilty of keeping Meldonium, a banned substance in the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) and World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) lists, and rejected his plea of being framed by the NADA officials.
"Under Article 10.2.1, ineligibility of Four (4) Years is imposed on Mr. Jithin Paul, C/o Executive Director, Sport Authority of India, Patiala Punjab 147 001 for the violation of article 2.6 of the Anti Doping Rules of NADA-2015. The period of ineligibility shall commence from the date of provisional suspension dated 22.05.2017," the report read.
Paul, who was part of the Indian contingent at Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2014, was asked to leave the national camp at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala in May last year after NADA officials seized several vials of banned drugs from his bag kept in the hostel room.
NADA officials searched rooms of three athletes namely Paul, Kunju Mohd (400m) and Om Prakash, while rooms of four coaches were also inspected.
The NADA officials sent the seized medical supplements to the National Dope Testing Laboratory where tests showed presence of banned substance Meldonium.
Paul, in his defence, reported that injecton Carnitine, Actovigin and Stimol were recovered from his room no. 11 which was also shared by Kunju. Paul admitted that the Carnitine injection was his, while the other two belonged to Kunju.
The panel then argued that Pauls submission report that suggested no search and seizure memo was presented by the NADA official to him was farce, stating that the national doping agency, in its report, has submitted the records.
"The panel is not persuaded by either athlete submissions that no search and seize memo was prepared at the room of the athlete or any document was handed over to the athlete as a token of acknowledgement of items recovered from his room, as panel had already held vide order 10/08/2017 that search and seizure is part of investigation and after completing search and seizure procedure by NADA officer, the report dated 18/04/2017 of the search and seized items has also been prepared, which is on record," the statement reads.
"In the present case, the Prohibited substance was found i.e Meldonium, which is non specified substance under the existing NADA Code 2015 in the room of Mr. Jithin Paul during the surprise checking conducted by the NADA on 17th April, 2017. Under article 2.6 clearly spells out that Possession by an athlete in-Competition of any Prohibited substance or any Prohibited Method which is prohibited out-of-competition unless the athlete establishes that the Possession is consistent with a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) granted in accordance with article 4.4 or other acceptable justification."