The National Anti-Doping Appeal Panel has reduced the ban period of swimmer Jyotsna Pansare from two years to one in the first decision concerning the 11 Indian athletes who tested positive for prohibited stimulant methylhexaneamine just before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
An anti-doping disciplinary panel of NADA had handed two-year bans to 11 athletes in November last year after their urine sample taken during various events returned positive for methyhexaneamine. All of them had appealed individually to the Anti Doping Appeal Panel and decision concerning 19-year-old Pansare was the first one decided by the NADAP.
"The Anti Doping Appeal Panel has issued its order dated 23.09.2013 in case of Ms. Jyotsna Pansare, a swimmer found positive in dope test conducted by NADA in 2010. The panel imposes one year ineligibility/ban on Jyotsna Pansare starting from the date of the order of Anti Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) i.e. from 05.11.2012," NADA Director General Mukul Chatterjee said in a release.
"Earlier the ADDP has imposed two year ban on Jyotsna Pansare by its order dated 05.11.2012. ADAP taking a considered view in her case not only decided to reduce the ban period from two (2) to one (1) year," the release said.
The NADAP accepted Pansare's argument that she had used face-packs and other cosmetic products containing geranium oil and root extract which had led to her positive result.
The reduction in ban period to one year would mean that Pansare would be able to compete again from November onwards.
Not only her ban period was reduced, the Appeals Panel also set aside the anti-doping disciplinary panel's decision to forfeit the medals she could have won and results during the period from the date of sample collection in 2010 to the date of decision in 2012.
"The Appeal Panel also directed that the order of ADDP dated 05.11.2012 referring 'As per Article 10.8 of the ADR of NADA, all other competitive results obtained by the athlete from 26.08.2010 onwards shall be obliterated with all resultant consequences including forfeiture of medals, points and prizes' be also set aside," the NADA said.
Urine sample of Pansare was collected during the 64th National Aquatic Championship, Jaipur on August 26, 2010 and was tested positive for Methylhexaneamine (MHA), a stimulant. 'B' sample analysis of Pansare was done on September 8, 2010 in her presence at NDTL and 'B' sample also confirmed 'A' sample finding -- that of adverse analytical finding of MHA.
During the hearings before the NADAP, the counsel for Pansare had argued that there were several errors in the documentation package and that the prohibited substance had entered her body through the use of some beauty products.
At one point of time, NADAP chairman Justice (retd) M L Varma had asked why should the swimmer suffer if there was some confusion.
The NADA counsel had, however, argued that there was no material deviation in the testing of the sample and the errors in the documentation package were typographical in nature and was done after the testing process was completed.
The NADA counsel had also cited a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) document to underscore that deviations in the package could not invalidate the adverse analytical findings.
The decision concerning Pansare will have implications in the 10 other appeals in line for decision.
The 10 other athletes who had filed appeals are wrestlers Mausam Khatri, Rajiv Tomar, Gursharan Preet Kaur, Joginder Singh, Rahul Maan and Sumit Sehrawat, swimmers Amar Muralidharan and Richa Misra, shot putter Saurabh Vij and discus thrower Akash Antil.