A US basketball player was suspended after an attempt to cheat at a urine drug test backfired spectacularly. The 28-year-old’s urine sample was found to contain high levels of pregnancy hormone.
Donell ‘DJ’ Cooper Jr had a successful career in Europe and had played for AS Monaco for 2 years. In 2017, he was named Most Valuable Player of the French basketball league (French Pro A). He had applied for Bosnian citizenship in 2014 and was looking to join the Bosnian national basketball team as a naturalised player. To get on the team he needed to undergo a drugs test.
When tested, his urine sample revealed unusually high levels of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone (hCG). This hormone is commonly produced by cells in the placenta during pregnancy and can be detected by blood and urine tests 2 weeks after conception.
Cooper had submitted his girlfriend’s urine instead of his own in an attempt to fool the doping test, according to a report from Slovenia’s national broadcaster RTV. It is believed that his girlfriend was unaware she was pregnant at the time.
In September 2018, Cooper suddenly announced that he was leaving AS Monaco.
“I decided to take a step back from basketball and terminate my contract […] for family reasons”, he said in a farewell statement released by the club.
“At the moment, my mind and concentration are not on basketball and I don’t want to be a source of disruption for the team … this team that I love, this team that represents the extraordinary Principality of Monaco that gave me unique life experience.
But the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) recently revealed what hid behind the ‘family reasons’. FIBA suspended Cooper for fraud in June 2018, and he won’t be cleared to play again until June 2020.
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Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:D.J._Cooper_2017-05-24.jpg