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Basketball player Satnam Singh Bhamara faces two-year ban for doping

Basketball player Satnam Singh Bhamara faces two-year ban for doping

The Bridge Desk

Published: 24 Dec 2020 5:39 AM GMT

Satnam Singh Bhamara, India's most popular basketball player, who created history by becoming the first Indian player to be drafted into an NBA team in 2015, has been banned for two years by the National Anti-Doping Agency's (NADA) disciplinary panel (ADDP). He was charged for consuming a prohibited specified substance, Higenamine, a beta-2 agonist.

The hearing into the matter, which took one year because of the COVID-19 induced lockdown, stated that they found Satnam guilty of not exercising due caution "in verifying the composition of the supplement he was consuming". It, however, mentioned that the baller didn't "intentionally" take the banned drug to gain unfair advantage over other athletes in the competition, he was "negligent" enough in performing his duties as a senior athlete though fully aware of the NADA's rules and regulations.

Bhamara's ban period started on November 19, 2019, the day the basketball player had voluntarily accepted the provisional suspension imposed by NADA, and will end on November 18, 2021. Satnam will not represent India during this period, nor will he feature in international leagues or appear in try-outs.

Bhamara was tested positive during an out-of-competition test conducted by NADA in Bengaluru during the preparatory camp for the South Asian Games (SAG) in November 2019.

Bhamara had a promising start to his career and had created history when he was picked in the NBA draft by Dallas Mavericks. For the next two years, he featured in the Development League with Texas Legends, an affiliate of Mavericks. After returning to India for a year, the 7'2" centre from Baloke village in Punjab's Barnala district, he hogged the limelight after becoming the first Indian cager to play in the National Basketball League of Canada after signing a deal with St John's Edge in September 2018.

In its verdict, the disciplinary panel ruled: "The examination offered by the athlete shows his negligence which is no ground to exonerate him for his act of consuming the specified prohibited substance. The hearing panel holds that since the athlete in the present case was negligent in consuming the specified prohibited substance without verifying its composition and elements and without disclosing the same in the doping control form, he is liable for sanctions under article 10.5.1 for ineligibility for a period of two years. The period of his ineligibility for the period of two years shall commence from the date of acceptance of provisional suspension i.e. 19.11.2019."

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