The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has provisionally suspended a woman cricketer after she tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. This is the first instance of a cricketer testing positive since the sport came under NADA’s jurisdiction last year.
The cricketer, an all-rounder, plays in the domestic circuit for Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association. She was tested out-of-competition in March this year. Since India’s National Dope Testing Laboratory has been suspended by the world anti-doping body, NADA sent the player’s urine sample to a testing lab outside India.
The analysis of her sample confirmed the presence of anabolic steroid ‘19-Norandrosterone’, a metabolite of commonly-used drug nandrolone. According to a British Journal of Medicine study, 19-Norandrosterone is one of the four most commonly administered drugs by athletes to boost their performance, with other three being testosterone, stanozolol and methandienone. Nandrolone is used by athletes to increase muscle mass and strength as well as to speed up recovery.
The cricketer, a right-arm medium pacer and right-handed batter, had represented Madhya Pradesh in the BCCI Under-23 T20 Trophy, as per the information available on the board’s website. She faces a suspension of up to four years – the quantum of her ban will be decided by NADA’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel.
The previous doping case involving a cricketer was last year, when batsman Prithvi Shaw was suspended for eight months. Earlier this year, NADA had let off Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul with warnings for not disclosing their whereabouts, an essential activity to ensure NADA can conduct surprise dope tests.
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