The National Anti-Doping Agency has issued Anshula Rao a four-year ban, retroactive to July 2020, for failing a drug test. Rao is thus the first female cricketer to be sanctioned for doping.

NADA’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel ruled that the U-23 cricketer used 19-Norandrosterone, a performance-enhancing steroid, according to multiple sources.

Rao is a BCCI-registered cricketer who has competed in a few domestic events, the most recent of which was the BCCI’s 2019-20 U-23 T20 tournament.

According to a report in The Times of India, she tested positive for the steroid in question on March 14 of last year in Baroda and was unable to explain that the forbidden chemical had entered her body unintentionally.

Rao had challenged the outcome, claiming that she had been treated unfairly by being required to pay “exorbitant and excessive costs” of Euro 2400 for the B Sample analysis.

According to TOI, the ADDP, led by counsel Gaurang Kanth, stated that while it is the responsibility of each individual athlete to ensure that they do not use any forbidden substances, it chastised NADA for failing to provide financial assistance to the bowler for her B Sample analysis.