South African fast bowler Dale Steyn failed a drug test as a result of taking painkillers to recover from an injury during the second Indian Premier League, his cricket board said on Tuesday.
Cricket South Africa Chief Executive Gerald Majola said Steyn was found to have morphine level slightly above the normal because of the painkillers he took and CSA has submitted a report in this regard to the IPL authorities.
“We are aware of the result and submitted a report immediately to the IPL on why this has happened,” Majola said.
“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,” he said.
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.
Dr Mohammad Moosajee, South Africa’s team doctor and a member of CSA’s medical committee, however, said Steyn would not face any action as it was not a drug violation but an adverse analytical finding.
“This is not a doping violation as such but an adverse analytical finding, which is different,” Moosajee said.
“Dale is known to have a history of chronic migraines and he suffered a thumb injury too during the IPL and he was on Myprodol, a painkiller that contains codeine”, he said.
“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,” Moosajee explained.
“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.”
Codeine does not figure in the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) list of prohibited substances but morphine has been classified under narcotics.
Moosajee said there was some confusion regarding the name of the drug he was using as mentioned in the Theraupatiuc Use Exemption form because the brand name of the painkiller is different in South Africa.
Players are expected to fill these TUE forms before a test so that the testers are aware of the medication the player is under.
“This also led to miscommunication in the Theraupatiuc Use Exemption (TUE) form that the player submitted before the test,” Moosajee said.
Steyn is the second fast bowler after Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif to come under scrutiny for a failed drug test in the IPL. Asif was banned for one year after testing positive for nandrolone, which is a banned substance, in the inaugural IPL season last year.