FIBA Disciplinary panel has announced it’s decision to suspend Montenegrin power forward Milka Bjelica until October 28 for using World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited substance.
Sample taken from Bjelica on April 22 tested positive for “S6, Stimulants/methylhexaneamine (dimethylpentylamine)”. April 22 test was following the Polish league finals second game against CCC Polkowice. She played throughout the rest of the series.
Analysis by Polish Anti-Doping Agency were determined to be positive on May 9. That marked the start of a process that ended on August 31 with the decision to suspend her for six months starting with her final game which was played on April 29. Her suspension will run out on October 28.
Bjelica waived her right for an in person or telephone hearing, but she submitted a statement admitting the violation. She explained it with a use of supplement called “Rocket Fuel” which she bought at a supplement shop located at the Wisla Can-Pack training venue. A salesperson’s assurance that it does not have any banned substances was enough for her to buy it. Reason for using the supplements is far too familiar to many.
By not following diet due to hard traveling schedule, she had gained weight. She says she felt pressured, presumably by the team, to lose at least 5 kilograms. Taking supplements was the fastest way to do so. There were weekly weight measurements conducted by the team.
The panel concluded that it “was not intended to enhance the Player’s sport performance or mask the use of a performance-enhancing substance” so the 2 year suspension was reduced to 6 months. She was still deemed responsible for what she ingests in her body.
Had she played during the summer in EuroBasket Women qualifiers, she would be suspended until February. At the time the coach explained her absence with an injury.