Recent data unveiled by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has shed light on the doping testing trends among Indian cricketers in the early months of this year. A notable revelation is that Indian cricket icons, captain Rohit Sharma and star batsman Virat Kohli, remained untested, while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja emerged as the most frequently tested player.
The data indicates that Jadeja underwent doping testing three times between January and May 2023. These tests, involving out-of-competition urine samples taken on February 19, March 26, and April 26, distinguished him as the cricketer subjected to the highest number of doping checks during this period. This proactive approach by NADA reflects its commitment to maintaining a clean and equitable sports environment.
Interestingly, a total of 55 cricketers, both male and female, underwent doping tests in the initial five months of the year, leading to the collection of 58 samples. Over half of these tests were categorized as ‘Out Of Competition’ (OOC), indicating a meticulous effort to prevent doping during training phases. This aligns with the broader anti-doping strategy aimed at upholding the sport’s integrity.
Comparing this year’s data with previous years, it’s evident that the number of samples collected in 2023 is expected to surpass figures from 2021 and 2022, where 54 and 60 samples were collected respectively. Notably, the present testing round also included blood samples, with seven out of the 58 samples being blood tests.
Beyond Indian players, several international cricket stars underwent doping tests in the same period. Foreign players like David Wiese, David Miller, Cameron Green, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, David Warner, Rashid Khan, David Willey, Trent Boult, Marcus Stoinis, Mark Wood, Adam Zampa, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, and Jofra Archer were tested in April, primarily during the Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
These tests comprised both urine and blood samples, emphasizing NADA’s comprehensive approach to upholding the game’s sanctity. Blood testing, capable of detecting substances not easily traceable in urine samples, plays a crucial role in NADA’s strategy. This method also facilitates the monitoring of athletes’ biological records over time, aiding in identifying performance-enhancing substances or methods. As the cricketing world remains committed to tackling doping, NADA’s stringent testing regimen reinforces their dedication to fair play, athlete well-being, and preserving the sport’s integrity.