India basketball star Satnam Singh Bhamara, who became the first from the country to be drafted into NBA, has reportedly failed a doping test last month. He has been provisionally suspended.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Bhamara’s urine sample was collected during a preparatory camp for the ongoing South Asian Games in Nepal which returned a positive result. Consequently, he wasn’t part of the India squad that began its campaign with a crushing win over Bhutan on Friday.
While the banned substance is still unknown, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) officials have said they have don’t have any information regarding the failed dope test.
Basketball Federation of India secretary Chander Mukhi Sharma said Bhamara pulled out of the SAG citing a family problem. “These decisions aren’t sent to us via email. NADA sends a physical copy in sealed cover. Since I am not in office, I am not aware if any such communication has been sent and hence can’t comment on the issue. Satnam told us at the last minute that there was some family problem and would not be able to take part in the South Asian Games. We are not aware of a positive dope test,” Sharma told the English daily.
Bhamara, who hails from Balloke (Punjab), has represented India at several major events including Asian Championships, Commonwealth Games, and in World Cup Qualifiers.
In 2015, the 7-foot-2-inch tall cager shot to limelight, creating history after being picked by Dallas Mavericks in NBA drafts. After playing in the Development League for two years, he returned home before again becoming the first Indian to play in Canada’s National Basketball League.