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How DNA Determined Sample Identity In An Anti-Doping First For India – The Case Of Vijay Singh

Friday, 03 September 2021 By Vidushpat Singhania, Anika Dhingra

Vijay Singh (Mr. Singh) is an Indian athlete who enjoyed circuit racing and competing at the JK Tyre Championships once every year at the Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi. He was an amateur biker and was not contracted with any professional outfit. Mr. Singh also runs a successful motorcycle workshop business and has built India’s first flat track for motor cross and rally racing by the name of ‘John Singh Speedway’.

During the 2018 JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship, Mr. Singh was informed that he had to report for a doping control test, as he had a podium finish. This is the first time Mr. Singh was subjected to an anti-doping test. When Mr. Singh went to the doping control station, he found multiple people walking in & out and numerous other racing athletes with their family present at the station. The Doping Control Officer (DCO) 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 India’s National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on 25.01.2019 intimating that the test for ‘Sample A’ of his urine reported an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for “Prohibited Substances”. i.e. ‘3-OH-stanozolol’ and ‘16-B-OH Stanozolol’ (Stanozolol metabolites), which are classified as anabolic steroids. Mr. Singh requested for testing of ‘Sample B’. The same was tested at India’s National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) and the Athlete received a second notice of charge dated 27.03.2019 confirming the AAF.

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

By way of disclosure, please note that the author acted for Mr Singh in the case.  

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About the Author

Anika Dhingra

Anika Dhingra

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

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Vidushpat Singhania

Vidushpat Singhania

Vidushpat is the managing partner at Krida Legal and is an advocate registered with the Delhi Bar Council. He is a member of the Election Oversight Panel of World Athletics (IAAF). He has been a member of the Independent Appeals Committee of World Sailing.

Vidushpat advises on issues pertaining to esports, new age investing (e.g Digital Currencies and NFT’s), betting and gambling laws, league formulation and rights structuring, government policies, TV and broadcasting rights, sponsorship and merchandizing contracts, tendering procedure, anti-doping, ticketing, venue hire and brand protection. He has also advised on M&A in the sports and gaming sector.

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