India Test cricketer Prithvi Shaw, registered with Mumbai Cricket Association, has been handed a backdated suspension of eight months for a doping violation in the 2018-19 domestic season. The right-handed batsman inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups.

Shaw had provided a urine sample as part of the BCCI’s anti-doping testing program during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match on February 22, 2019 in Indore.

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He will serve the ban till November 15, 2019 but can resume training after September 15 midnight.

The sample was subsequently tested and found to contain Terbutaline — a specified substance — that is prohibited both In & Out of Competition in the WADA Prohibited List of Substances.

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On July 16, the cricketer was charged with the commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) under the BCCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) Article 2.1 and provisionally suspended pending determination of the charge. Shaw responded to the charge by admitting the ADRV but asserting that it was inadvertent, being caused by his ingestion of the over the counter cough syrup he had taken for his cough.

Shaw reiterated that he had taken Terbutaline unknowingly to treat a respiratory tract infection and not as a performance-enhancing drug.

Having considered all the evidences and an expert external advice, the BCCI accepted Shaw’s explanation of the cause of his ADRV, and on that basis has agreed that a period of ineligibility of eight months should apply, together with disqualification of certain results.

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Under BCCI ADR Article 10.10.3, Shaw is entitled to full credit against that period of ineligibility for the provisional suspension that he has been serving since July 16, 2019.

Shaw — who is nursing a hip injury and missed the A tour of West Indies — will not be available for Duleep Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and a part of Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy.

He will also miss India's home series against Bangladesh and South Africa.


The doping episode is the latest setback in a series of blows for Shaw, who has been on a downhill ever since making his Test debut as a teenager with a scintillating hundred versus West Indies in Rajkot in October 2018. It was followed with Shaw suffering an ankle injury during a tour game ahead of India’s Test series in Australia in November.

Despite being persisted with on the tour, Shaw was abruptly sent back home midway through the series, fuelling speculation over his over-the-top lifestyle having affected his recovery. After returning to the field during the Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the IPL, Shaw last featured in a competitive match during the Mumbai T20 League in May.

The episode also exposes the lack of anti-doping training imparted to Indian cricketers. Being a first-class regular for Mumbai, India Under-19 captain and having earned the Test cap, it is surprising to see Shaw consulting an unknown pharmacist during a tournament. That too, when he was with the Mumbai team, when he should have first consulted the team doctor and the manager.