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Neelam makes written submission

November 14, 2005 21:57 IST

Discus thrower Neelam Jaswant Singh, provisionally suspended for a positive dope test at the World Athletics Championships earlier this year, on Monday filed her written submission to the Athletics Federation of India panel hearing her case.

Sushil Salwan, the athlete's counsel, sent his written submission to the four-member panel hearing the doping charges against her.

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"I sent my written submission in Neelam's defence today itself to the panel chairman Walter Davaram (president of the Tamil Nadu Amateur Athletics Federation)," Salwan said.

Neelam had appeared before the panel, which asked her to present her arguments in writing.

Salwan refused to divulge the specific arguments he has made in Neelam's defence.

He said the panel could ask him to appear in person again if it needed any clarifications before arriving at a decision.

"It is up to the panel now," Salwan, who headed the enquiry into Sunita Rani case after she tested positive at the 2002 Busan Asian Games, said.

The AFI panel hearing Neelam's case is headed by Davaram and has Adille Sumariwala, G S Randhawa and Girish Tyagi as its other members.

The panel is expected to submit its report to the AFI in little over a week, one of the panelists said.

"We will have one or two sittings of the panel to discuss the case once we receive Neelam's arguments in writing," Tyagi, secretary Delhi Medical Association, said.

"The final report would be ready for submission to the AFI in another week or so."

Tyagi said there is no deadline as such imposed by the AFI but the panel would try to present its report as soon as possible.

The panel was originally expected to submit its report by the end of October.

If found guilty, Neelam faces a two-year ban.

Neelam, 34, was suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations after she tested positive for pemoline at the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki in August.

But the athlete can bring the 'exceptional circumstances rule' to either seek the setting aside of the suspension or the reduction of the period of suspension.

To get such a verdict, Neelam would have to establish how pemoline entered her system.

If the panel agrees with her, the matter would be referred to the IAAF Doping Review Board whose decision would be binding on AFI, although the athlete would have the option of appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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