Suspended footballer Gharami says ‘was not aware of banned substance’ in his medicine

In his defence, Gharami says he took the medicine after being prescribed by a family doctor, and that he recovered soon.

Rana Gharami in action for Delhi Dynamos.   -  ISL Sportzpics

The suspended Delhi Dynamos player Rana Gharami has told the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and All India Football Federation (AIFF) that he “wasn’t aware of the presence of any banned substance” in the medicine that he took to treat fever.

In April, Gharami was handed a provisional suspension by the NADA after he tested positive for a banned substance, in a first such case involving an Indian Super League footballer.

In his defence, Gharami said he took the medicine after it was prescribed by a family doctor, and he recovered soon.

“When we went into a break during the last ISL, I was at home and fell ill. The fever was not going and I took a medicine after being prescribed by a family doctor, which worked well. I informed the AIFF about all this in a letter,” Gharami told PTI on Wednesday.

“After the break, I had to go for a dope test and, to my shock, it returned positive. It is really disappointing,” he added.

The 28-year-old Gharami had returned positive for prednisone and prednisolone metabolities in an in-competition test conducted during an ISL match in New Delhi on January 31.

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He appealed to the NADA to reconsider his case and allow him to continue with his football career.

The defender from West Bengal, who played for Mohun Bagan in 2017-18 before joining Delhi Dynamos in the 2018-19 season, did not have a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

NADA’s list of substances banned in competition include prednisolone and prednisone in section 9 under glucocorticoids.

Prednisone is also used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood disorders, breathing problems, severe allergies, skin diseases, cancer, eye problems, and immune system disorders.

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