Ghana boxing was dealt a major blow last Friday when the Commonwealth Games Federation suspended light heavyweight Shakul Samed for violating anti-doping rules.
Samed, a 23-year-old light heavyweight competing at this year’s Games in Birmingham, UK, which began on July 28, had his round of 32 bout with Mauritius’ Jean Luc Rosalba canceled due to the infraction, handing his opponent a walkover win.
A statement issued by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) noted that Samed has been banned from the games after he was found to have taken a banned substance Furosemide ahead of his Round of 32 contest with Rosalba.
“The Commonwealth Games Federation has suspended Ghanaian boxer Shakul Samed with immediate effect for violating anti-doping rules,” parts of the statement read.
“A sample taken from the boxer was shown to contain the banned substance Furosemide.
“The Commonwealth Games Federation Anti-Doping and Medical Commission has confirmed that the sample of Shakul Samed, a boxer from Ghana, violated anti-doping rules for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. His A sample was found to contain a prohibited substance (diuretic and masking agent – Furosemide).”
Samed was considered one of Ghana’s top fighters in the tourney, one capable of bringing home a medal. He will now have the opportunity to provide further information, including requesting analysis of his B sample, before any charge is issued.
The news stunned leaders of the Ghana Boxing Federation (GBF), the national government-mandated body which manages all amateur boxing activities.
Bernard Quartey, president of the GBF, described the news as unfortunate and said he was focused on preventing it from psychologically derailing the team’s chances at the games.
Quartey said he was confident of that the team would return home with medals despite Samed’s suspension.
“It is a bad situation but we are managing it to avoid it from affecting the team psychologically,” Quartey stated. “We are on course to deliver our target of going back to Ghana with medals in boxing.”
They will have to do so without Samed, who represented Ghana at the Tokyo Olympics last year. Organizers of this year’s Commonwealth Games have taken a hard stance toward banned substances, claiming “a zero-tolerance policy to doping in sport. We seek to maintain the integrity of the Commonwealth Games by running a comprehensive anti-doping programme that focuses equally on education, prevention and testing.”