National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) Chief on Subrata Paul - 'We haven't banned any footballer'

AIFF Media
The Indian goalkeeper has not yet been banned by the central agency and awaits a trial to decide his case...

In what came to news earlier today, Indian ace goalkeeper and current DSK Shivajians player Subrata Paul failed a dope test

NADA chief Navin Agarwal spoke to Goal about the same and admitted that a footballer had failed a test for a 'specified substance' but refused to reveal his name. 

"We carried out tests regularly as we do on footballers and I can say that one of them tested positive for a specified substance that is also used as a medicine," he stated. 

While he refused to name the substance in question, Goal can state with some certaintly that it is the drug Terbutaline

While terbutaline is what is pharmacologically called a Beta 2 Agonist and is often used in asthma and respiratory conditions for instantaneous relief, it is also one of the banned substances listed by the World Doping Agency. 

It is alleged to increase performance in athletes by increasing blood flow to muscles but conclusive evidence for the same is still lacking.

It is usually inhaled but in Paul's case it was taken as part of a cough syrup (one of the rare uses of terbutaline). 

Subrata Paul Chennaiyin FC NorthEast United FC ISL season 3 2016

For his part, the former India number 1 who sat on the bench recently against India's Asian Cup Qualifier against Myanmar had given an undertaking to NADA before taking the test that he had taken the said cough syrup on the prescription of a physician. 

Interestingly, Navin Agarwal said that NADA had not banned anyone and there would be a trial. 

"We haven't banned any footballer. We are carrying out the investigation and due process will take place," he observed. 

What happens when you fail the first doping test?

The Arjuna awardee joins an infamous list of Indian footballers who have failed a doping test. In 2011, Nishant Mehra tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol, a banned substance and was censured by NADA for a period of two years. Earlier, in 2002, Arun Malhotra crossed the dreaded Rubicon right before the Asian Games at Busan, South Korea

Recently, Dane Pereira was suspended by NADA for failing a drugs test when contracted by Mumbai FC. 

The Indian football diaspora will watch with bated breath as Paul - a decorated Tata Football Academy (TFA) graduate who has won multiple Nehru Cups (2007, 2009) and the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) Challenge Cup 2008 - puts up his defense.