How DNA determined sample identity in India’s first anti-doping measure – The case of Vijay Singh

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Friday 03 September 2021 By Vidushpat Singhania, Anika Dhingra

Vijay Singh (Mr. Singh) is an Indian athlete who loved circuit racing and competed in the JK Tire Championships once a year at the Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi. He was an amateur biker and was not under contract with any professional outfit. Mr. Singh also runs a successful motorcycle workshop business and built India’s first flat track for motocross and rally racing under the name “John Singh Speedway”.

At the 2018 JK Tire FMSCI National Racing Championship, Mr. Singh was told he had to appear for doping control as he finished on the podium. This is the first time that Mr. Singh has been subjected to a doping control. When Mr. Singh visited the doping control station, he found several people entering and exiting and many other running athletes with their families present at the station. The Doping Control Officer (ACD) was handling multiple samples simultaneously and many open samples were placed on the table at the doping control station unattended.

Mr. Singh received a “notice of charge” from the National Anti-Doping Agency of India (NADA) on 25.01.2019 suggesting that testing ‘A sample’ of her urine reported an Adverse Analytical Finding (FAA) for “Prohibited substances”. ie “3-OH-stanozolol” and “16-B-OH Stanozolol” (metabolites of Stanozolol), which are classified as anabolic steroids. Mr. Singh requested the “B sample” test. The same was tested at the Indian National Doping Test Laboratory (NDTL) and the athlete received a second notice of indictment dated 27.03.2019 confirming the AAF.

In what is probably the first such case in India, Mr Singh was ultimately cleared from the AAF due to a DNA test proving that the contaminated sample did not belong to Mr Singh.

For disclosure, please note that the author acted on behalf of Mr. Singh in this matter.

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Written by

Vidushpat Singhania

Vidushpat Singhania

Vidushpat is the managing partner of Krida Legal and a lawyer registered with the Delhi Bar Council. He is a member of the World Athletics Election Monitoring Panel (IAAF). He was a member of the Independent Appeal Board of World Sailing.

Vidushpat advises on matters relating to esports, new age investments (e.g. digital currencies and NFTs), betting and gambling laws, league formulation and rights structuring, policies government, television and broadcasting rights, sponsorship and merchandising contracts, the tendering process, anti-doping, ticketing, room rental and brand protection. He has also advised on mergers and acquisitions in the sports and games sector.

Anika dhingra

Anika Dhingra

Anika is a lawyer at Krida Legal, New Delhi, India

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