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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 19, 2013
With the spot-fixing scandal yet to die down, the Indian Twenty20 league has been jolted by another controversy. Delhi paceman Pradeep Sangwan, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders, has tested positive for a banned substance.
“Sangwan has tested positive for steroid,” a senior Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) official said. He seemed to suggest the player could have taken the substance while being treated to recover from a shoulder injury. “He has been fighting injury and fitness concerns over the last one year or so.”

Sangwan, caught during a random test, is in England having undergone surgery on his bowling (left) shoulder on Monday.


Poor season
The seamer had struggled to secure a place in the Delhi and Kolkata Knight Riders sides. He played only two matches for KKR this season and three Ranji matches.

He missed the final of this year’s Vijay Hazare tournament --- the inter-state one-day tournament --- after complaining of pain in the bowling shoulder. But he returned to competitive cricket in the Indian T20 league in just over a month.

Delhi cricket officials are not sure when Sangwan took the substance and in what form. Traces of some steroids can remain in the blood stream for two-three months.


“We don’t know what the circumstances were, but we’ll talk to him once he arrives from England,” Delhi’s chairman of selectors Chetan Chauhan said.

“We are going to stand by him, support him,” he added, hinting that it is unlikely he may have knowingly taken the substance.

Fitness trouble
There had been question marks over Sangwan, who had drastically lost his pace since achieving success in his very first Ranji season (2007-08).

He was rewarded with a place in the U-19 World Cup squad. The drop in pace had led to speculation about his fitness.

The DDCA general secretary, Sneh Bansal said: “The Board has asked us not to consider him till the investigations are on and the ‘B’ sample is tested. The BCCI will summon him for the hearing.” The BCCI doesn’t come under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) or its Indian version, the National Anti-Doping Agency. It conducts tests on its own.

This is only the second positive test in the IPL. Pakistan paceman Mohd Asif, who played for the Daredevils in 2008, was banned after testing positive for banned steroid, nandrolone. They say