When Indian boxer Neeraj was provisionally suspended after failing a dope test earlier this week, she became the fifth Indian sportsperson to test positive for ligandrol, which is a performance-enhancing drug.
Neeraj has accepted the findings and has declined a B sample test after the National Anti-Doping Agency announced her report was found positive for presence of LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) and other anabolic agents.
The ligandrol has become a cause of concern for the Indian anti-doping agency lately. The drug, said to be commonly in use for racehorses and bodybuilders, is easily available online, according to a report by The Indian Express.
“We are concerned with the increasing use of LGD 4033 by weightlifters and boxers. Till last year, there were no violations with respect to this drug. This year, there are quite a few,” Nada director general Navin Agarwal was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Apart from Neeraj, four others Indians suspended for using the drug are all weightlifters, a sport which has a drug-tainted past. Nada has given four-year bans to Neetu Khara, Siyaram Gujjar and Nikhil Tugnait while Dipika Shripal was suspended for eight years as a repeat offender, continued the report.
Interestingly, the drug which has been on the World Anti Doping Agency’s banned substance list for a couple of years is considered to be “not for human consumption” in several countries, including the USA and Australia. The US anti-doping agency has even warned athletes about this drug on their website.