New Delhi: The Indian Premier League was wrought with its fair share of controversy and now another major embarrassment has hit the cash-rich league.
There are reports that a player has tested positive for dope in the random drug test conducted during the inaugural season of the IPL that ended on June 1.
World Anti-Doping Aganecy (WADA) officials had taken random samples during the tournament and has confirmed that one player has failed the test.
While the identity of the player is not clear, it is believed that he is a pace bowler from the sub-continent.
Confirming the news to CNN-IBN, IPL Chairman Lalit Modi said he had received the message from the Swiss lab that conducted the test for WADA.
“We have been conveyed (the news) by WADA. One player has tested positive according to random tests conducted by a Swiss lab. We do not know who he is. In fact, officials at the lab too would not know him by name,” he said.
However, Modi insisted that it was too early to say if the player failed the drug test as there are several procedures to follow to arrive at a conclusion.
Modi also explained the procedure that follows. “The testing is done in two stages. If the player has a prescription, it’s okay and the process gets over in stage 1. But if the first stage fails and the player does not have a prescription for the drug, he has to be present at the lab with an IPL official to authenticate. If he tests positive, then the matter goes to drug tribunal of IPL that includes lawyer Shishir Gupte and cricketer Sunil Gavaskar,” he said.
The results of the tests take six weeks to come, as there’s no WADA-authenticated lab in India. The samples are sent to either Malaysia or Switzerland for testing.
Fourteen players were tested in all during the tests which got underway one month after the IPL began.
It will be interesting to see what action will be taken against the offender and whether the player faces a ban by his board as well as the IPL.
"This is just the procedure. As of now we are at the first stage where one sample has tested positive. The issue is now with the IPL's medical committee. The identity of the player will matter only after we check on the pre-declared drugs," Modi said.
The IPL sprang into action when reports from Pakistan suggested that fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was found carrying syringes in bulk on his way to India to participate in the competition to play for Kolkata Knight Riders. Organisers promptly announced random dope tests with a month into the tournament.
Mohammad Asif, who along with Shoaib, was ejected from the 2006 Champions Trophy after testing positive for a banned substance, was later detained at the Dubai airport for 19 days for alleged possession of opium while he was returning from India en route to Pakistan.
Asif had played a pivotal part in Delhi's run to the semi-finals of the inaugural competition.
Asif was released by the authorities in Dubai, but a PCB-appointed tribunal will soon begin its own inquiry into the matter.