Subrata Paul, nicknamed ‘Spiderman’, who had failed a dope test recently, has pleaded the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to provide him with three weeks to clear his name. It was during the ensuing period when the India Men’s team were about to take on the Cambodian team in a friendly that the dope test happened. Terbutaline Beta-2 Agonist was found in his system in a customary dope investigation conducted at NADA’s Mumbai lab.
Because Terbutaline is filed under NADA’s ‘specified substance’ list, Pal, but had to face suspension. Their rule book says that a ‘specified substance’ taint in the case of such doping attracts a ban of maximum two years. The exact duration of suspension depends on the proven circumstances that led to the presence of such substance in the suspect’s system. If it is found that such a substance had foot-printed in a suspected athlete due to no fault of their own, the said ban is pardoned to a great degree.
It may be noted that despite the find, Pal was allowed to fulfil his goalkeeping duties in the recently concluded Federation Cup for DSK Shivajians. Though he tested positive for ‘A’ sample, Pal did not push for his ‘B’ sample to be analysed as the said substance finds a mention on the banned substance list.
Pal promptly submitted his voluntary suspension request himself soon after his team exited the tourney at the group stage on May 13. Collaborating the same, NADA director general Navin Agarwal on Tuesday said, “Paul opted for voluntary (provisional) suspension. So, he stands suspended.”
His case will be put up in front of a disciplinary panel at the end of the reprieve sought. If found guilty, the sentence will be adjusted against the period that he has already served under the banishment.
But Pal is undeterred by the events and is willing to return to action only after clearing his name.
It remains to be seen how this case pans out. The Indian international has even been named in the Indian squad for the ongoing international matches as the second choice goalkeeper to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.