Subrata Paul let off with reprimand

Paul had returned a positive result for Terbutaline (Beta-2-Agonist) in an out-of-competition test on March 18. He was informed of his positive test on April 20 but was not handed a provisional suspension as Terbutaline (Beta-2-Agonist) was a specified substance.

Goalkeeper Subrata Paul’s counsel Vidushpat Singhania had said the athlete took the banned medicine because he had an ‘existing asthma problem’.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

The National Anti-Doping Agency disciplinary panel has let off football goalkeeper Subrata Paul, who tested positive for a banned substance, with a reprimand.

Paul had returned a positive result for Terbutaline (Beta-2-Agonist) in an out-of-competition test on March 18. He was informed of his positive test on April 20 but was not handed a provisional suspension as Terbutaline (Beta-2-Agonist) was a specified substance.

Paul used the opportunity to play the Federation Cup for his club DSK Shivajians and opted for provisional suspension on May 24.

Following the hearing of the case against Paul on May 31 and June 12, the disciplinary panel in its July 5 order held that ‘the athlete was able to prove that the dope violation was not intentional.’

“Under Article 10.5.1.1 of the NADA Code, wherein a provision for no significant fault or negligence is available, Subrata Paul has been reprimanded for anti-doping rule violation although no period of ineligibility has been imposed upon him. His suspension stands revoked with immediate effect,” said a NADA statement on Wednesday.

The disciplinary panel warned the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for negligence as ‘it has failed to provide guidelines to be followed by team doctor appointed by them.’

“It is a strict liability of the federation to take absolute precaution for prohibited substances in any form either in medicines or dietary/nutritional supplements. The doctor during his appearance before the panel had admitted in writing that he failed to take due care in prescribing the medicine to the athlete which led to his ingestion of prohibited substance. The federation has been directed to take necessary action against the team doctor,” said NADA.

Paul’s counsel Vidushpat Singhania said the athlete took the medicine because he had an ‘existing asthma problem.’ “We were able to prove that it was not Paul’s fault. In fact, he did not even procure the medicine. It was given to him by the doctor himself,” said Singhania.