Steroid Scandal at Kabbadi World Cup Sends USA and Australia Home

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The 2011 Kabaddi World Cup has been marred by a major steroid scandal after 31 players have tested positive for anabolic steroids and/or performance-enhancing drugs. Ten out of the 14 countries invited to play at the World Cup have been affected. These  include players from Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, Italy, Norway, Germany, Argentina and India.

The name of the drugs involved have not been officially identified by India’s National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). The anabolic steroid nandrolone is said to have been the culprit in several of the doping cases. Nandrolone decanoate is the active ingredient in the popular steroid brand Deca Durabolin.

The entire Australian kabaddi national team was dismissed from the competition after a total of seven players were  disqualified after receiving analytical and non-analytical positives. Five players tested positive while two players refused to take the test.

Australia coach Ravinder Singh reported that the disqualifications left Australia unable to field a full seven-player team.

Pakistan filed a formal complaint against the United States team after the US team beat them. The complaint cited 5 non-analytical positive tests by US players.

The United States national kabaddi team was not caught using steroids. However, Manjinder Singh was caught trying to substitute his urine sample with water and subsequently verbally abusing the anti-doping official after he was busted.

Four other US players flat-out refused to submit urine samples for the anti-doping test.

The Kabaddi World Cup management ultimately decided to kick the United States national team out of the tournament.

India, the host country, only had one positive steroid test. India had tried to weed out steroid users during the country’s selection trials for the Kabaddi World Cup in October.

During the trials, nineteen out of 31 urine samples showed metabolites of anabolic steroids and/or other performance-enhancing drugs. India players were caught using steroids including Winstrol (stanozolol), Dianabol (methendienone), trenbolone, Masteron (drostanolone) and Deca Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate) during the trials.

Kabaddi is a 4,000 year-old South East Asian team sport that involves tackling, breath-holding, hand-holding and chanting “kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi”. Steroid testing has only recently been implemented quickly. The use of steroids appears to be rampant in kabaddi based on early results.

Steroid use and kabaddi


AFP. (November 14, 2011). Australia kicked out of kabaddi ‘World Cup’ for drugs. Retrieved from

TNN. (November 15, 2011). US players refuse to take dope test. Retrieved from