Indian 400m hurdler, Jithin Paul, will now be able to focus on his training after WADA has decided not to contest the verdict of the National Anti-Doping Agency that cleared him of doping charges recently. Paul was charged with the possession of Meldonium in his room in NIS Patiala in April 2017.
Paul was handed a four-year suspension to for possessing a banned substance back in 2017 in what was a first-of-its-kind incident in Indian Athletics. But in August this year, the National Anti-Doping Agency appeals panel set aside the verdict and gave Paul a clean chit. The Indian governing body accepted the contention by his legal team and added that the NADA Doping Control Officers (DCO) do not have the power to search and seize banned drugs.
However, the Indian athlete can focus on his training as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will not be appealing against the verdict that NADA had announced a couple of months ago.
“There is no language in the WADA Code that directly allows for search and seizure. Furthermore, investigations must be done in accordance with the Code, NADA rules and local law.
"As a matter of course, we see most search and seizures done in accordance with the police. After reviewing the complete case file, we have decided not to appeal the case," a WADA spokesperson told TOI when asked whether the world body will appeal against the NADA panel’s verdict.
At first, NADA officials put up a brave front and claimed to be surprised at the appeals panel’s verdict which exonerated Paul who was first charged with possession of the banned drug. But after assessing the verdict, they backed off quietly.
"It's strange that NADA is not allowed to search a camper's room. We have gone through the case and decided nothing more needs to be done," the NADA officials said a few days after the verdict was announced by the appeals panel headed by Justice (retd) RV Easwar.
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