Bajrang Punia Suspended Again by Anti-Doping Agency for Sample Refusal; Notice Issued with July 11 Deadline

The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has suspended wrestler Bajrang Punia and issued him a notice. This action follows his refusal to provide a sample for a doping test during the national trials in Sonipat in March. Punia has until July 11 to respond to the notice. 

Previously, NADA had suspended him on May 5, but the suspension was revoked after three weeks due to the lack of a formal notice. This time, NADA has ensured the suspension is accompanied by a notice.

On March 10, during national trials for the Asian qualifiers for the Olympic Games, Punia refused to provide a sample when requested by NADA.

Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Brij Bhushan

Wrestlers, led by Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik, accused former WFI President Brij Bhushan of sexually harassing female wrestlers. They protested at Jantar Mantar, and the Supreme Court ordered Delhi Police to register a case against him. 

The case is currently in court. During this period, WFI elections were held, and Brij Bhushan’s associate, Sanjay Singh, won. Following this, Vinesh Phogat returned her awards, and Sakshi Malik retired from wrestling.

Bajrang Punia Competed in Asian Games Without Trials

Bajrang Punia faced criticism after competing in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, without participating in the trials. Last year, he lost in the semifinals and the bronze medal match against Japan’s K. 

Yamaguchi with a score of 10-0. His performance led to anger on social media, as many believed he should not have been included in the Indian team without prior competitive matches.

Bajrang Punia’s Achievements and Recent Controversies

Asian Games Controversy

Bajrang Punia faced backlash for competing in the Asian Games in Hangzhou without participating in trials. He lost both the semifinal and bronze medal matches, sparking anger on social media and criticism for being included in the team without prior competitive matches.

Commonwealth Games 2022

Punia won a gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in the men’s freestyle 65 kg category by defeating Canada’s L. McLean 9-2. This was his second consecutive and third overall gold at the Commonwealth Games. He also won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Bajrang Punia Returns Padma Shri in Protest

Wrestler Bajrang Punia announced his decision to return the Padma Shri award in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He expressed his opposition to Sanjay Singh, a close associate of Brij Bhushan, winning the WFI presidential election.

Three months earlier, Punia had placed his award on a sidewalk after being denied entry to the Prime Minister’s residence. He stated, “After the disrespect shown to female wrestlers, I cannot live an honorable life with this award. I can no longer bear its weight.”

Rasesh Nageshwar

Hi there! I'm Rasesh Nageshwar, and I'm passionate to write about entertainment, movies, web series, and sports. As a writer, I love sharing my insights and opinions on the latest trends, news, and events in these exciting fields.