In a first, cue sports player fails dope test and is suspended | More sports News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The game of billiards and snooker, which has so far been untouched by the growing menace of doping, has become its latest victim.
In the first case of doping in the country’s cue sport history, 1998 Bangkok Asian Games bronze winner and multiple World Billiards Championships medallist, Karnataka’s Bhaskar Balachandra, has failed the dope test for a beta blocker, which was found in his urine sample collected during the National Games in Goa, held from Oct 23 to Nov 9 last year.
Beta Blockers are prohibited substances both in and out of competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and widely prescribed to control blood pressure.
The 52-year-old had won the gold medal in the men’s billiards 100up format at the Games. Balachandra, who hails from Bengaluru and has spent nearly three decades playing competitive billiards, has been provisionally suspended by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). His case will now be heard by the Nada’s anti-doping disciplinary panel (ADDP).
He has also won multiple medals at the Asian Billiards meets.
Bhaskar underwent an aortic valve replacement procedure on February 25, 2020. Since then, the cueist has been taking Betaloc100 medication that contains metoprolol, a beta blocker.
In another case of doping, India’s top long-distance runner, Murali Kumar Gavit, has returned dope-positive for erythropoietin (EPO), which increase one’s red blood cell mass and allows the body to transport more oxygen to muscles and therefore increase stamina and performance.
Gavit, too, was tested by the NADA’s dope control officers (DCOs) during the National Games where his sample showed traces of banned substance EPO . He has been provisionally suspended for his first-time doping offence and faces punishment for up to two years. He had won the silver medal in the men’s 5000m race in Goa.
Gavit was a regular member of India’s long-distance athletics contingent and has represented the country in several international competitions. He was a double national champion over the 5,000m and 10,000m in 2019 and had secured bronze in the men’s 10,000m race at the Asian Championships the same year in Doha.
Both Balachandra and Gavit have been stripped of their respective medals won at the Goa National Games by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), it has been learnt.

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