USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has rendered a decision in the case of table tennis athlete Kanak Jha, of Milpitas, Calif. After an evidentiary hearing on February 9 and February 16, 2023, where both Jha and USADA were provided a full opportunity to present their cases and witnesses to the independent arbitrator, the arbitrator determined that Jha will receive a one-year sanction for committing three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period.
“Athletes providing accurate Whereabouts information can be a chore, but it is essential for clean sport, as effective no advance notice, out-of-competition testing is absolutely necessary because many prohibited drugs have short detection windows and without the Whereabouts testing process, dopers would win the day,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “More than 2,000 athletes in the USADA testing pools successfully maintain their Whereabouts and are available for testing throughout the year, which is a powerful tribute to their commitment to uphold their responsibility and to support clean sport.”
Jha, 22, was a member of the USADA Registered Testing Pool (RTP), which consists of a select group of elite athletes subject to certain Whereabouts requirements to be located for out-of-competition testing. Within a 12-month period, Jha accrued three Whereabouts Failures: the first on March 18, 2022, the second on June 2, 2022, and the third on September 4, 2022.
The accumulation of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period constitutes a rule violation under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policy, and the Table Tennis Federation Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code.
Jha’s one-year period of ineligibility began on December 1, 2022, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. In addition, Jha has been disqualified from competitive results obtained on September 4, 2022, the date of his third Whereabouts Failure, through December 1, 2022, the date of his provisional suspension, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
This decision, as well as other arbitral decisions, can be found here.
In an effort to aid athletes, as well as support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to file and update athlete Whereabouts, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements, as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.
In addition, USADA manages a drug reference hotline, Global Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as a supplement guide, a nutrition guide, a clean sport handbook, and periodic alerts and advisories.
USADA makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sport in an effort to protect clean athletes and promote clean competition. Any tip can be reported using the USADA Play Clean Tip Center, by text at 87232 (“USADA”), by email at playclean@USADA.org, by phone at 1-877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253) or by mail.
USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.
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