Sri Lankan 400m athlete, 23-year-old Pradeep Kumara has been banned from all sports related activities for 04 years by the Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency (SLADA) after one of his urine samples collected during the National trials in June tested positive for a banned substance .
Former Peterite Kumara was a member of the Sri Lankan 4X400m Men’s Relay team that represented the country at the Asian Athletic Championship which was held at Odisha, India in August but had to return home due to one of his samples testing positive for a banned substance. SLADA informed the Athletic AssociationA of Sri Lanka (AASL) that Kumara’s sample, collected during the final national trial held on the 1st & 2nd of June was reported by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory for an Adverse Analytical Finding which warranted the immediate recall of the athlete by the AASL.
The ban that has been slapped on Kumara is effective from 01st of June 2017 to 31st May 2021 and the substance that has been present in his system has been identified as 19-norandrosterone.
Kumara, who claims a personal best time of 47.24secs in the 400m, pleaded guilty to the offence and has also cooperated with the authorities, providing valuable information about the illegal doping activities that have plagued athletics in the country. He is the 13th Sri Lankan athlete to be convicted of a doping offence. It is reported that he has even provided the authorities with a list of athletes who he claims to have taken banned substances.
ThePapare.com contacted the president of AASL, Gen. Palitha Fernando regarding the doping menace that is plaguing the country and is threatening the progression of the athletics in the Island and this is what he had to say, “It is very unfortunate, but when you win a race with illegal substance in your system and get on that podium, deep inside, heart to heart you know that you cheated. It’s the same as getting a distinction at an exam cheating, deep inside you know you cheated. IAAF and WADA are very strict on the doping and when you get caught you will pay the price. We have received reports that many other athletes have also been involved in doping and the SLADA will soon start collecting blood samples instead of the urine samples from testing. Unlike in urine samples there is no shadowing in blood samples and people who are guilty will have to pay the price”
Gen. Fernando also went on onto say that it’s important that the athletes understand the ill effects that these substances can have on their system. “We want our athletes to be healthy, when you use substances like this by the age of 30-40 they will suffer from complications relating to blood sugar and heart troubles.” He also went onto say that “we have also received information that this disastrous practice has creeped into the school level systems and that is a matter of great concern. With competition ever increasing amongst the school kids we will have to make sure illegal practices are curbed out and our future talent is safeguarded from this menace.”