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Subrata Paul, India football goalkeeper, to appeal failed dope test

India football goalkeeper Subrata Paul will appeal to the National Anti-doping Agency for a B sample test, after testing positive for a banned bronchodilator.

football Updated: Apr 25, 2017 20:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Subrata Paul,India football,NADA
Subarata Paul will appeal to the National Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for a banned substance.(HT Photo)

India goalkeeper Subrata Paul denied taking a banned substance on Tuesday following a positive dope test and will appeal to the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) after it found traces of terbutaline in his A sample.

“Yes, he will appeal, and although it is entirely between Subrata and NADA, we will help him,” said Kushal Das, general secretary of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Paul, an Arjuna award winner in 2016, said he has seven days to present his version to NADA. Paul could face a four-year ban.

Terbutaline is a bronchodilator and is present in commonly used expectorants administered for cough and cold. Athletes, however, must apply for a TUE (therapeutic use exemption) certificate before using it.

‘Never cheated with football’

“I am shocked. I have never cheated with football and trust me, I never will. All those who know me and I mean players, coaches and officials at all the clubs that I have played in and those with the national team will tell you that I am not someone who would take a banned substance,” said Paul over the phone from his residence in Sodepur, a suburb near north Kolkata.

“Moreover, I have been subjected to at least 15 such tests in my time with the national team and have never failed one. There have also been random tests after I-League games. At this stage of my career, why would I do something like this? I have asked the AIFF for advice and have also reached out to the medical staff at North East United, DSK Shivajians and the national team doctor. I have not taken any medicine without prescription,” he said.

Paul, 30, is with DSK Shivajians in the 10th I-League. Paul didn’t play the last match that they lost 0-7 to Bengaluru FC because, he said, the coach wanted to rest some players. Paul can continue playing, but should the B sample too test positive, all points DSK get in matches he plays will be taken away. He played with North East United in the Indian Super League last year.

Tested at India camp

Paul was tested last month in Mumbai at an India preparatory camp before the friendly against Cambodia, which preceded the 2019 Asian Cup qualifier away to Myanmar. As a procedure, all national teams in Olympic disciplines are subjected to these tests by NADA. The respective federations have to facilitate it.

Before Paul, defender Arun Malhotra, then with East Bengal, couldn’t travel to the 2002 Busan Asian Games because he had failed a dope test. In 2011, Nishant Mehra of Mumbai FC failed a test conducted by the I-League. Failing a random dope test in the I-League in 2015, Mumbai FC’s Dane Pereira was banned.

First Published: Apr 25, 2017 20:53 IST