Doping in Lawn Bowls - Drugs in the Ditch

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Doping in Lawn Bowls
BY Hamish ON 05 Nov 2022

Doping in Lawn Bowls - Drugs in the Ditch

Lawn bowls is one of the core sports of the Commonwealth Games and have been included in the Games since 1930. The only time the Games occurred without lawn bowls taking place was in Jamaica in 1966, due to the lack of suitable bowling greens. It is not a sport one would expect to be associated with doping scandals.

Blood pressure rising

Mrs. Cheryl Ann Edelkraut participated in the South African Mixed Pairs Championship in June 2017, at the age of 60. The fact that she even qualified to compete in the South African Championship was all but a coincidence. She had been dutifully using her chronic high blood pressure medication as her doctor ordered, for 13 years.

Despite being on treatment for a dangerous condition that can be well-controlled under a doctor’s supervision, Mrs Edelkraut stayed committed to her hobby and became an unlikely gold medalist at the SA Championship. On the day of the event, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport conducted random drug testing, and Mrs. Edelkraut was chosen to give a urine sample.

Grandmother’s gold medal is gone

Mrs. Edelkraut tested positive for prohibited substances. Those substances were ingredients in her high blood pressure pills. At a hearing in Johannesburg, she was denied a Therapeutic Use Exemption and officially charged with doping. She was stripped of her gold medal and suspended from lawn bowls for four months. She returned to the sport and was still playing in 2021