For the first time in history, a female cricketer was handed over a four-year ban by the National Anti-Doping Authority (NADA) for failing a dope test and taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Anshula Rao, who was a registered player with BCCI as part of its affiliated unit MPCA, was tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid ’19-Norandrosterone’ March last year and failed to prove her innocence. Two samples were then sent to a laboratory in Belgium and the scientist there too found the traces of the banned substance in Rao’s sample.
In her defense, Rao pointed out that there was a 4-month gap between the dope test and the accusation by the NADA. She also mentioned that she was forced to pay 2400 Euros for the test in Belgium, which was wrong because the authority who wants to do the test is supposed to pay for it.
The Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP), chaired by advocate Gaurang Kanth said “it is the duty of every athlete to ensure that no banned substance enters his/her body”. The ADDP also criticized NADA for making Rao pay for the test.
The panel mentioned that, “ Rao failed to produce any evidence to explain how the prohibited substance entered into her body.”
The panel slapped a four-year ban and while doing so they concluded that the presence of the drug has been “established beyond doubt.”
“In the present case, the athlete failed to explain how the prohibited substance entered in her body and hence she failed to take the reasonable care as expected from an athlete.”