>The 2009 National sprint champion, Sharadha Narayana, has been reprieved by a hearing panel despite being charged with a steroid violation.
An Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel headed by Jasmeet Singh, recently exonerated the 24-year-old Tamil Nadu sprinter, who had tested positive for steroid stanozolol at the Open National in Kochi in 2009. She won the 100m title there in a personal best 11.56s.
The panel that also included Dr N. K. Khadiya and hockey Olympian Ashok Kumar (originally the sportsperson member was hockey Olympian M. P. Ganesh), ruled that the athlete had been able to make out a case for elimination of the sanction under the “no fault or negligence” clause.
This is the first time under the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) regime that an athlete who was charged with the use of an exogenous (outside the body) steroid has been reprieved by a hearing panel.
The panel went by the advice and prescriptions given to Sharadha for a “knee (joint) pain” by Dr. C. Senthil Raj, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Sakthi Hospital and Research Centre, Chennai, and came to the conclusion that she was not at fault and could be reprieved.
Dr. Raj prescribed her Menobol and Winstrol, both being stanozolol, the former in tablet form and the latter an injection version.
It was stated that the doctor had noted that she was suffering from knee pain. The prescription was dated July 13, 2009. Her sample at Kochi was collected on May 16, 2010.
During the intervening period of 10 months, Sharadha apparently did not approach any authority for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to use the banned drug. Both Menabol and Winstrol are well-known names within the sports circles as being steroids. The panel’s order is silent on TUE.
The panel noted that the athlete had to go by the medical advice and could not be faulted.
It, however, stated, “the athlete is guilty of not filling the ‘Declaration of Medications/supplements’ in the Doping Control Form.”