New Delhi: Indian all-rounder Yusuf Pathan was today handed a five-month retrospective suspension for failing a dope test, a sanction which will end on 14 January after the BCCI accepted his plea that the violation was inadvertent.
“Mr Yusuf Pathan has been suspended for a doping violation. Mr Pathan had inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups,” the BCCI said in a statement.
The 35-year-old Pathan had provided a urine sample as part of the BCCI’s anti-doping testing program during a domestic T20 match between his team Baroda and Tamil Nadu on March 16 last year.
“His sample was subsequently tested and found to contain Terbutaline. Terbutaline, a specified substance, is prohibited both In and Out of Competition in the WADA Prohibited List of Substances,” the BCCI stated.
Pathan, on his part, said he was confident of being cleared of deliberate usage and vowed to be more careful in future.
The all-rounder, who has played 57 ODIs and 22 T20 Internationals for India, 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”.
He has not played for India since 2012 but has been seen in the Indian Premier League, turning up for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The BCCI said it is “satisfied” with Pathan’s explanation that was using the medication to “treat an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI) and not as a performance-enhancing drug”.
“Having considered all of the evidence and taken expert external advice, the BCCI has accepted Mr Pathan’s explanation of the cause of his ADRV, and on that basis has agreed that a period of ineligibility of five months should apply, together with the disqualification of certain results,” the BCCI stated.
The governing body said Pathan had been provisionally suspended on 28 October last year and the Board has now decided to back-date the period of his final suspension from 15 August.
“In all of the circumstances, the five-month period of ineligibility will be deemed to have started to run on 15 August 2017 and end at midnight on 14 January 2018,” the Board stated.
The development comes amid the BCCI’s stoic opposition to allow the National Anti-Doping Agency to test cricketers. The Board has refused to sign up with NADA despite repeated requests by the agency.