NADA provisionally suspends five sportspersons including Rakhi Halder, Ajay Thakur

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Rakhi Halder and former India kabaddi captain Ajay Thakur have been provisionally suspended for an anti-doping rule violation.

Rakhi Halder
Rakhi Halder

The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has handed provisional suspension to five sportspersons for violating anti-doping rules. Commonwealth Games gold medallist weightlifter Rakhi Halder and former India kabaddi captain Ajay Thakur are among the five to have been suspended. The sportspersons were handed the suspension last month.

According to a NADA newsletter, Rakhi was tested out of competition, while Thakur failed in filing his whereabouts information. Rakhi was not included in the Indian squad for this month’s Asian weightlifting championships in Tashkent after testting positive for banned substance.

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Other athletes in this list include Greco Roman wrestler Manish Kundu, who was tested at the National championships in Jalandhar. Racewalkers Sunil Vishwakarma and Vishvendra Singh, were also suspended after they tested positive in the National open race walking championships in Ranchi.

Ajay Thakur becomes first Indian athlete to be suspended for whereabouts failure

Ajay Thakur
Ajay Thakur

With the suspension, Thakur became the first Indian athlete to have faced action for whereabouts failure. Thakur was served the anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) notice on March 19 last month under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) article 2.4. He is facing a two-year suspension.

Thakur, a Padma Shri and Arjuna awardee, was the captain of the national team which finished on top of the podium at the 2017 Asian Kabaddi Championship in Gorgan, Iran. At the Ahmedabad Kabaddi World Cup, which India won by defeating Iran, he was adjudged the No. 1 raider with most raid points (68).

Meanwhile, a NADA disciplinary panel has handed four years of ineligibility to weighlifters Ankit Chhoker,  R. Madhavan, Lenin Athokpam Meitei of fencing and powerlifter Ankit Shishodia for different doping violations. Boxer Ruchika Chaudhary has been suspended for two years.

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