Cricket South Africa (CSA) has confirmed that Dale Steyn failed a dope test during the second IPL. It attributed the result to painkillers the fast bowler had taken during the tournament. Steyn was out of action for most of the IPL in South Africa in April-May due to a thumb injury and played only three matches for Bangalore Royal Challengers.
"We are aware of the result and submitted a report immediately to the IPL on why this has happened," Gerald Majola, CSA's chief executive told Cricinfo. "There was a marginal increase in the presence of morphine in the sample and that was due to painkillers he took during that period. We are awaiting a reply from the IPL authorities."
Dr Mohammad Moosajee, South Africa's team doctor and a member of CSA's medical committee, was confident Steyn wouldn't face any action despite the failed test, first reported by the sport24 website.
"This is not a doping violation as such but an adverse analytical finding, which is different," Moosajee told Cricinfo. "Dale is known to have a history of chronic migraines and he suffered a thumb injury too during the IPL and he was on Mydropol, a painkiller that contains codeine. Codeine converts to morphine within the body and that led to the adverse finding. Dale had taken the painkiller on the day of the test and the morphine level in his sample was found to be slightly higher (1.1 to 1.3 microgram per ml) than the 1 microgram per ml that is permitted.
"This is a matter between the IPL franchise and IPL but since Dale is also a CSA-contracted player, we were informed and we are now assisting in the process. We have sent a detailed report to the IPL and are awaiting a reply. We are confident that he will be cleared."
Moosajee said there was some confusion regarding the situation because the brand name of the painkiller is different in South Africa. "This also led to miscommunication in the Theraupatiuc Use Exemption (TUE) form that the player submitted before the test," Moosajee. Players are expected to fill these TUE forms before a test so that the testers are aware of the medication the player is under.
Steyn is the second fast bowler to come under scrutiny for a failed drug test in the IPL; Pakistan's Mohammad Asif was banned for one year after testing positive for nandrolone, which is a banned substance, in the inaugural season in 2008.
In Asif's case, Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, had said that the first step was to match the identity of the player with the sample. Next, the player's form, filled out before the match, will be scrutinised for any pre-declared or prescribed drug by the IPL medical committee; if that matches the drug found in the sample, the matter ends there.
If the medical committee investigation reveals the player had not applied or been granted an exemption for using the drug found in the sample, the player, the concerned IPL franchise and national board will be informed in writing of the positive test that violates the anti-doping code. The player has the right to request that his 'B' sample [supplied at the same time as the one that tested positive] be sent for analysis, which he and his representative can attend along with an IPL representative.
If that too is positive, the matter will be taken up by the IPL's drugs tribunal, comprising of Sunil Gavaskar, Dr Ravi Bapat (ex-vice chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences) and lawyer Shirish Gupte. The tribunal will study the issue and take a decision in accordance with the code.
Steyn failed drug test during IPL | South Africa Cricket News | Cricinfo.com