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Kerala footballer Viknesh gets two-year ban for doping

In a rare doping case within Indian football, Kerala footballer M Viknesh’s appeal against a two-year ban has been turned down by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) appeal panel. This decision stems from Viknesh’s failed dope test during the National Games in Gujarat, where his sample revealed the presence of the banned substance ‘Terbutaline,’ commonly found in cough syrups.

Background of the Case:

Viknesh received a two-year ban from the NADA Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, effective from November 12, 2022. The ban was a consequence of the doping violation discovered during the National Games in September-October 2022. The banned substance, ‘Terbutaline,’ a common ingredient in cough syrups, triggered the disciplinary action.

Decision of the Appeal Panel:

In a recent order dated December 2, the NADA appeal panel upheld the decision of the disciplinary committee but made an alteration to the date of the ban’s commencement. Instead of starting from the original date, the appeal panel determined that Viknesh’s two-year ban would begin from April 5, 2023—the date of the disciplinary committee’s decision. This adjustment occurred as Viknesh was not provisionally suspended after the initial dope test failure.

Rare Doping Cases in Indian Football:

The occurrence of doping cases in Indian football is infrequent. Notable instances include East Bengal defender Arun Malhotra’s ban of 60 days in 2022, imposed by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) before NADA’s establishment in 2009. Mumbai FC player Nishant Mehra faced a two-year ban in 2011, marking the first instance of an Indian footballer being banned by NADA for doping. Another Mumbai FC player, Dane Pereira, received a one-year ban in 2025 after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • All India Football Federation President: Kalyan Chaubey;
  • All India Football Federation Founded: 23 June 1937;
  • All India Football Federation Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • NADA Founded: 24 November 2005;
  • NADA DG & CEO: Ritu Sain.

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