Akash Chikte: Time to wipe my tears and play hockey again

Updated: May 10, 2019, 07:50 IST | Ashwin Ferro

This means Chikte's suspension ended in April. "It's a huge relief for me and my family. I have cried a lot during this tough phase but now it's time to wipe away those tears and get back to hockey," Akash told mid-day from Pune yesterday

Akash Chikte: Time to wipe my tears and play hockey again
Akash Chikte

India hockey goalkeeper Akash Chikte was a relieved man yesterday after his two-year doping sentence was reduced to 13 months as the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) concluded that he had consumed the banned substance (Norandrosterone) unintentionally.

Chikte, 26, was suspended by NADA's Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) on March last year. However, he claimed the substance was prescribed to him by a Pune doctor to treat his injured toe. Yesterday, a NADA statement said: "We hereby modify the order of the ADDP and the ineligibility of 4 years under Article 10.2.1 from the date of the appellants provisional suspension, i.e. 27-03-2018, is modified to a period of 13 months."

This means Chikte's suspension ended in April. "It's a huge relief for me and my family. I have cried a lot during this tough phase but now it's time to wipe away those tears and get back to hockey," Akash told mid-day from Pune yesterday.

"I will be playing in a Hockey India All-India tournament [for BEG Pune] in Chennai from May 17 and will first look at returning to the core group of the Indian team under new coach Graham Reid. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is obviously my ultimate aim," added Chikte, who was the hero of India's 2017 Asian Champions Trophy victory via shootout over arch-rivals Pakistan in Kuantan, Malaysia.

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