Prithvi Shaw handed eight-month doping suspension by BCCI
Prithvi Shaw, young India batsman and the 2018 U-19 World Cup-winning skipper, has tested positive for a banned substance and banned for eight months, BCCI said in a statement on Tuesday. The 19-year-old, who scored a ton on last year’s Test debut against West Indies, gave his sample during the February Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament in Indore. It came positive for Terbutaline, a banned substance in the World Anti-doping Agency (Wada) list. The Mumbai opener, who played in IPL for Delhi Capitals after that, has been handed a back-dated ban from March 16 that will run until November 15, BCCI said.
The Board has its own anti-doping protocol—it is not under the National Anti-doping Agency (NADA). Shaw escaped a two-year ban for first offence as BCCI, following an inquiry, concluded after Shaw’s statement that he did not take Terbutaline to boost performance and that it was ‘inadvertently’ injested while taking a medicine to treat cold and cough. Terbutaline is a bronchodilator, which eases breathing. Shaw’s sample was sent to the Wada-accredited National Dope Testing Laboratory in New Delhi. When the result came in, BCCI referred it to an independent review board. It found no lapses in the procedures followed, but the player didn’t have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to use the medicine containing the banned substance.
Watch | Prithvi Shaw ban: BCCI anti-doping manager throws lights on details
Following a hearing, BCCI found Shaw guilty of breaching its anti-doping rules and provisionally suspended him on July 16. Two days later, Shaw accepted the findings and waived his right for the B sample test.
BCCI statement does not explain why it took five months for the provisional ban to be imposed.
Besides IPL, Shaw also played in the T20 Mumbai league, guiding North Mumbai Panthers to the title with the final played on May 26. Shaw, who made his Test debut against West Indies at home last year, didn’t play in the series in Australia due to injury.
The BCCI report does not say when it received the report from NDTL. Usually, it does not take more than two months, unless advanced testing is required. BCCI also didn’t clarify why news about the positive test was not made public earlier. It was reported in the first week of July that he was nursing an injury suffered in the Mumbai T20 league after not being included for the India A tour of the West Indies.
Shaw’s submission at the BCCI inquiry was, “anxious to start playing cricket again after almost three months injured and mindful of the need to be match fit for the 2019 IPL, that was to start the following month. So I consulted my father who suggested me to visit a pharmacy. I bought an over-the-counter cough syrup that would provide me relief.”
BCCI anti-doping rules state: “A first offence that involves a substance that is classified as a specified substance (like Terbutaline) carries a two-year ban.”
In their findings, BCCI said: “Shaw did not consult with the BCCI officials before consuming the over-the-counter syrup. If he had taken those steps he would have surely avoided breaching the rules. He didn’t ingest terbutaline in an effort to enhance his sports performance. Instead, he took it to treat his cough and cold symptoms for therapeutic purpose.
“But considering Shaw’s youth, lack of experience, limited anti-doping education and anxiety—which explains to some extent why he failed to take all the steps required of him. The BCCI is prepared to accept Mr Shaw’s plea of ‘No Significant Fault or Negligence’ and to assess his fault in the ‘normal category’. The BCCI considers an eight-month period of ineligibly to be appropriate.”
Though the ban runs until mid-November, Shaw can use the training facilities of any club or member organisations after September 15.
Shaw later tweeted: “I was coming back off a foot injury which I suffered during the India tour of Australia and I was returning to active cricket in that tournament (Syed Mushtaq Ali). However out of my eagerness to play, I didn’t follow the protocol of being careful in consuming a basic over the counter cough syrup. I accept my fate with sincerity. I have to take this in my stride and hope it inspires others in our sport fraternity too in India that we as athletes need to be extremely careful in taking any medicine is available over the counter.”