By: Sarwar Alam
Satnam Singh, the first Indian to be drafted into the NBA, has been provisionally suspended by India’s anti-doping agency after failing a drugs test last month.
Singh, who joined the Dallas Mavericks in 2015, failed an out-of-competition test last month and was handed a temporary ban on November 19, according to the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) newsletter.
The banned substance that was been detected in Singh’s sample was not confirmed.
The 23-year-old Singh, standing 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 meters) tall, has denied the charge through a statement on Saturday, asserting he is “clean”.
“Mr. (Satnam Singh) Bhamara is disputing the said charge and has requested a hearing before the NADA Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) in order to put forth his case,” the statement said.
“Mr. Bhamara would like to state that he was and remains a clean competitor and has always played basketball fairly.”
Singh, who did not play an NBA game, went on to play in the National Basketball League of Canada after signing a deal with St John’s Edge in September 2018.
He has represented India at the Asian Championships, 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 World Cup Qualifiers.
There is also a Netflix documentary One in a Billion which charts Singh’s remarkable journey from a remote Punjab village to the Mavericks.