Top Indian goalkeeper Subrata Paul has decided to skip a confirmatory 'B' sample test after he returned positive for a banned substance and instead requested the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to arrange for early hearing of his case in view of national team's matches next month. Paul's 'A' sample taken out-of-competition on March 18 tested positive for banned substance terbutaline. He was informed of it by the NADA on April 24 and given seven days time to make a request for 'B' sample test and that deadline ended Monday.
"Yes, the footballer has not opted for 'B' sample analysis," NADA Director General Navin Agarwal said. According to All India Football Federation sources, instead of going for 'B' sample test, Paul has asked for an early hearing before the NADA Anti-Disciplinary Panel. "The Indian team is playing against Kyrgyzstan next month (June 13 in Bengaluru) in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. Subrata wants and hoping that he will be cleared for that match. So, he has filed an appeal to the NADA that his hearing be held as soon as possible," the source said.
Terbutaline, a specified substance, is a bronchodilator and is taken when people have trouble breathing or for 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 this kind of drugs.
The 30-year-old Paul, an Arjuna Awardee, has said that he has been given treatment for cough which had troubled him on and off recently. However, he may not get the maximum four-year ban for a first-time dope offender.
There has been six earlier cases of terbutaline doping in India and out them, two have got bans of three months while three have been handed six-month bans. Only one athlete got a ban of one year.