New Delhi, December 7
Satnam Singh Bhamara, the first Indian player to be drafted into an NBA team in 2015, has been provisionally suspended by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) after he failed a dope test last month. The 23-year-old Punjab cager failed an out-of-competition test conducted in Bengaluru by NADA during the preparatory camp for the South Asian Games (SAG). He was provisionally suspended on November 19. The prohibited substance found from Bhamara’s urine sample is not known.
Bhamara, however, insisted that he “was and remains a clean” athlete. In a statement issued on Saturday, the 23-year-old Bhamara requested NADA for a hearing by its Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel. “Mr Bhamara had received a notice from NADA dated 11.11.2019 stating that Mr Bhamara has failed a doping test for a prohibited substance. Mr Bhamara is disputing the said charge and has requested a hearing before the NADA Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) in order to put forth his case,” the statement said. “Mr Bhamara would like to state that he was and remains a clean competitor and has always played basketball fairly.”
No sample B test?
The statement did not mention whether Bhamara has waived his right to request a test of his B sample, but it is learnt that he has not asked for a B sample test. Bhamara said he had voluntarily decided to accept the provisional suspension which NADA imposed on him on November 19. “Mr Bhamara wishes to clarify that the reports in the media about Mr Bhamara being provisionally suspended by NADA are misleading and that it is Mr Bhamara who has voluntarily accepted the provisional suspension vide his communications to NADA,” the statement read.
If Bhamara is found guilty of doping by ADDP, he faces a maximum ban of four years for a first-time offence. Bhamara pulled out of SAG, which began on December 1, citing personal reasons. The 7ft 2in tall player was training at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru. Basketball Federation of India (BFI) secretary Chander Mukhi Sharma claimed that he was not aware of Bhamara’s doping issue as he has been “out of station”. He said Bhamara had written to BFI, saying that he was pulling out of the SAG due to personal reasons. — PTI
Satnam in limelight
In 2015, Satnam Singh Bhamara created history when he was picked in the NBA draft by Dallas Mavericks. He went on to play the next two years in the Development League with Texas Legends, an affiliate of Dallas Mavericks. After returning to India for a year, Bhamara again created history in September 2018 by becoming the first Indian cager to play in the National Basketball League of Canada after signing up with St John’s Edge. He has represented India in major tournaments like Asian Championships, 2018 Commonwealth Games, and 2019 World Cup Qualifiers.
Mr Bhamara would like to state that he was and remains a clean competitor and has always played basketball fairly. Mr Bhamara wishes to clarify that the reports in the media about being provisionally suspended by NADA are misleading. — Satnam Bhamara in a statement
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