India’s first NBA player Satnam Singh Bhamara banned for doping

Last Updated: Thursday, 24 December 2020 (17:55 IST)
New Delhi: Satnam Singh Bhamara, who had created history by becoming the first Indian player to be drafted into an NBA team in 2015, has been handed a two-year by the National Anti-Agency’s (NADA) disciplinary panel for failing a dope test last year.

According to NADA, the 25-year-old player tested positive for Higenamine, which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List in 2017 and is classified as a beta-2 agonist, meaning it is prohibited at all times, both in and out-of-competition.
 
Satnam had been slapped with a provisional suspension in November last year, after he failed an out-of-competition test conducted in Bangalore by during a preparatory camp for the South Asian Games.
 
However, he had disputed the charges levelled against him and had requested NADA for a hearing by its Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP). The hearing was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent suspension of its activities by NADA due to the lockdown.
 
“Satnam Singh Bhamara, Basketball Player tested positive for Higenamine Beta-2-Agonist. Anti Doping Discpilinary Panel has imposed 2 years Ineligbility on him. @YASMinistry @BFI_basketball,” NADA tweeted on Thursday.
 
The order means Bhamara’s suspension will end on November 19 next year, with the ban period starting retrospectively on the same day in 2019.
 
Five years ago, Bhamara created history when he was picked in the NBA draft by Dallas Mavericks.
 
The 7’2” hoopster from Punjab played for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA’s Summer League and spent two years with the Texas Legends, a G-League affiliate of the Mavericks.
 
After returning to India for a year, Bhamara again made history in September, 2018 by becoming the first Indian cager to play in the National Basketball League of Canada, after signing a deal with St John’s Edge.
 
He has represented India in major tournaments like Asian Championships, 2018 Commonwealth Games, and 2019 World Cup Qualifiers. His inspirational life story was the subject of a documentary “One in a Billion”. (UNI)