India football goalkeeper Subrata Paul fails dope test

In what may come as a shock to the Indian football fans, Arjuna Awardee Subrata Paul has failed a dope test conducted by the National Anti-Doping agency (NADA).

The All India Football Federation secretary Kushal Das told reporters, "His sample A has tested positive".

But after he argued that it was part of an asthma drug and that he did not ingest enough to boost performance, Yates was given a reduced ban of four months.

In any case, Pal has to take the advice of his counsel and examine possibilities of avoiding a suspension in case he is found guilty of having consumed the banned substance.

Terbutaline is a bronchodilator and is taken when people have trouble breathing or for medical condition such as asthma. But, athletes must apply for a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemptions) certificate if they want to use this kind of drugs.

However, some athletes in India have escaped with warnings and suspensions ranging from three to six months in similar cases in the past. He was tested on March 18 before India left for Cambodia to play a friendly match. "All the players were tested during that camp".

"I have played football for a long time and I have done these tests like 15 times before".

Initial reactions to Subrata Paul's failed doping test: "'We are shocked!" .

"We sent the notice to the player as well as to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) four days back".

The 30-year-old said he had spoken to the AIFF regarding the issue, who had assured him their unstinted support. The former Mohun Bagan and East Bengal goalkeeper has two weeks to decide his fate of the B sample. "I will prove my innocence as I have played the game with honesty and integrity in my career of more than 10 years now".

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 now plays for a Norwegian top tier club.

Subrata Pal tested positive for the banned substance terbutaline. Paul was part of the Indian squad which played against Cambodia in an global friendly (March 22) and against Myanmar (March 28) for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, but did not make it to the playing eleven. As per the rules of the world governing body Federation International de Football Association (FIFA), a player who fails a drug test must be suspended by his/her federation within a week of the result.

However, whatever be the outcome of the sample B, it is unlikely to have any effect on the Arjuna Award that the goalkeeper deservingly received a year ago.

  • Stacy Allen