|April 5, 2000||
D'Cold Total leaves Popat in the cold
The International Badminton Federation, at its meeting last month, banned Aparna Lalji Popat, India’s No. 1 women's badminton player who is ranked 28th in the world, for three months, for contravening IBF anti-doping statutes.
At a hearing in Birmingham, on March 11, the IBF disciplinary committee found Popat guilty of using D’Cold Total, a proprietary medicine used for the treatment of cold and flu, during the February 13 to 20 Thomas and Uber Cup matches in New Delhi.
According to the IBF statement, D’Cold Total contains phenylpropanolamine at a concentration level above the International Olympic Committee’s stipulations.
The ban period started from March 13 and will continue till June 12. The decision reaffirms the IBF's tough stance on doping, even in cases where banned substances are taken inadvertently.
Popat, 22, was randomly selected for a routine dope test during the Thomas/Uber Cup. An analysis of the 'A' sample at an IOC accredited laboratory in Penang detected the stimulant phenylpropanolamine at a concentration level above the IOC limit. The Indian champion waived her right to have the 'B' sample analyzed, and supplied the hearing with the packaging of D'Cold Total, which she had declared having taken at the time of sampling.
The IBF disciplinary committee, in its report, stated that, although guilty of a doping offence, they felt that Popat had inadvertently taken the banned substance phenylpropanolamine, which was contained in the D'Cold Total medication she had taken.
As a consequence, Popat will have to forfeit the world ranking points she acquired during her Uber Cup matches in New Delhi.
This is only the fourth time in the last 10 years that the IBF has had a positive case to deal with.
Meanwhile, Popat, who is training at the BPL Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bangalore, admitted taking the D’Cold Total tablet during the Uber Cup as she had a severe cold.
In a statement issued by her on April 3, she said: "Prior to my participation in the tournament, I had declared these facts to all concerned, including the Medical Panel too.
"I do not take this (D’Cold Total) or any other medication on a regular basis. This medicine, as I realised later, has an ingredient, phenylpropanolamine, commonly used to treat upper respiratory infections and a sore throat, however, the presence of which in the samples over stipulated limits may invite sanctions. A very small quantity over the permissible limits stipulated by IBF is said to have been detected in one of the samples drawn during the tournament in my case.
"In response to the IBFs questions, I have explained to them that the presence of this substance in the sample could only be due to the above medication. I have pointed out to the IBF that the use of this medication was to treat a medical condition and was totally inadvertent and without knowledge that it contained any substance, the use of which has been disapproved by IBF. IBF, however, has issued directives preventing me from participating in tournaments for a period of three months from 13th March 2000, for the inadvertent use of the medicine in question.
"I am determined not to allow this temporary non-participation in international tournaments to affect my performance, form or fitness and am continuing my training and preparation for forthcoming tournaments with greater dedication and sense of purpose."
Mail Sports Editor
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