Goalkeeper Paul fails dope test

Goalkeeper Paul fails dope test

Goalkeeper Paul fails dope test

Veteran Indian goalkeeper Subrata Paul has vowed to prove his innocence after it was revealed that he failed a dope test.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das, on Tuesday, said Paul failed an out-of-competition test conducted last month in Mumbai. He is faced with the prospect of a four-year ban.
“The banned substance is terbutaline,” Das said.

Terbutaline is a bronchodilator and is taken when people have trouble breathing or a medical condition such as asthma.

It is also present in commonly-used expectorants administered for cough and cold. But athletes must apply for a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemptions) certificate if they want to use asthma-related drugs.

However, some athletes in India have escaped with warnings and suspensions ranging from three to six months in similar cases in the past.

According to WADA, terbutaline is placed in the category of ‘beta-2 agonists’, which is prohibited at all times (in competition and out-of-competition).

Das said Paul’s urine sample was taken by NADA on March 18 when the Indian team was in the national camp in Mumbai. All the players were tested during that camp.

The 30-year-old Paul  plays for DSK Shivajians in the I-League. “I am shocked at this news that I failed a dope test. I have not got any official communication from the NADA or the AIFF. I am getting to know about this from the media. I will prove my innocence as I have played the game with honesty and integrity in my career of more than 10 years now,” Paul, an Arjuna awardee, said.

“I will request for the ‘B’ sample test as I believe that I have not done anything to fail a dope test. All the players were tested during the Mumbai national camp and I never thought that my sample will return positive,” he added.

Paul, who made his India debut in 2007 and played for the country 64 times till 2015, said he has achieved most of whatever he had set out for in his career.

In the last couple of years, Paul has not been India’s No 1 goalkeeper as that position has gone to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who currently plays for a Norwegian club Stabaek FC.

Paul was a part of the Indian squad that played against Cambodia in an international friendly (March 22) and against Myanmar (March 28) for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, but did not make it to the playing XI.
Doping in Indian football is rare. Before Paul, former Mahindra United defender Arun Malhotra (2002), Nishant Mehra (2011) and Mumbai FC’s Dane Pereira (2015) had tested positive for banned substances.