Published: Fri, April 28, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

'Indian Spiderman' facing four-year drugs ban

'Indian Spiderman' facing four-year drugs ban

India's top goalkeeper Subrata Paul appeared to be staring at a career-threatening four-year ban for failing a dope test but has vowed to prove himself innocent by going for the confirmatory "B" sample test.

The AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said he was surprised to find the goalkeeper had failed the dope test. Paul is faced with the prospect of a four-year ban. "The prohibited substance Terbutaline has been detected in his urine", Goel said.

People having trouble in breathing or suffering from asthma generally take the banned drug terbutaline.

However, some athletes in India have escaped with warnings and suspensions ranging from three to six months in similar cases in the past.

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.

Before Paul, defender Arun Malhotra, then with East Bengal, couldn't travel to the 2002 Busan Asian Games because he had failed a dope test. There have also been random tests after I-League games too.

"I am shocked. I have never cheated with football and trust me, I never will till my last day in this sport".

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NADA has communicated the same to the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

"The AIFF officials, the fans, fellow players and the media knew that I have been an honest player throughout my career. He has the option to go for "B" sample test if he so desires", Agarwal told Sportstar on Tuesday. I have played for the country and there is no point to cheat with football.

In the last couple of years, Paul has not been India's No.1 goalkeeper as that position has gone to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who now plays for a Norwegian top tier club.

Paul, nicknamed the ' Spiderman', has also won Nehru Cups (2007, 2009) and the Asian Football Confederation's ( AFC) Challenge Cup in 2008.

Doping in Indian football is rare. "All those who know me and I mean players, coaches and officials at all the clubs that I have played in and those with the national team will tell you I am not someone who would take a banned substance", Paul, an Arjuna award victor in 2016", said Paul to a media channel. Paul was part of the Indian squad which played against Cambodia in an worldwide friendly (March 22) and against Myanmar (March 28) for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, but did not make it to the playing eleven.

Subrata is not the first national team footballer in India to fail the dope test.

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