India’s Shaw handed 8-month suspension for doping violation

India batsman Prithvi Shaw (left) talks to a teammate in the ground. (AFP pic)

BENGALURU: India batsman Prithvi Shaw has been handed a back-dated eight-month suspension for a doping violation after ingesting a prohibited substance Terbutaline, the country’s cricket board (BCCI) said on Tuesday.

The BCCI said Shaw, who made his test debut last year, admitted to the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) but the 19-year-old asserted that it was ‘inadvertent’, ingesting the substance when he had used an over-the-counter cough syrup.

“Prithvi Shaw, registered with Mumbai Cricket Association, has been suspended for a doping violation,” the BCCI said in a statement. “Mr Shaw had inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups.”

“Mr Shaw had provided a urine sample as part of the BCCI’s anti-doping testing program during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match on Feb. 22, 2019, in Indore. His sample was subsequently tested and found to contain Terbutaline.”

“The BCCI is satisfied with Mr Shaw’s explanation that he had taken Terbutaline inadvertently to treat a respiratory tract infection and not as a performance-enhancing drug.”

The suspension has been backdated because Shaw admitted to taking the banned substance, in line with BCCI ADR Article 10.10.2, with the ban deemed to have started on March 16 and ending on Nov. 15.

Shaw released a statement later on Tuesday saying he accepted the punishment and hoped this example would deter other athletes from neglecting protocol when it came to taking medicines.

“I accept my fate with all sincerity,” Shaw said on Twitter. “I have to take this in my stride and hope it inspires others in our sports fraternity too in India.

“We as athletes need to be extremely careful in taking any medicine for the smallest of medical ailments even if the medicine is available over the counter.”

Shaw last played for India in a test match against West Indies in October last year and has not been picked in the squad for their tour of the Caribbean next month.

However, Shaw will be allowed to resume training with his state team after midnight on Sept. 15.

The BCCI also said that two other domestic cricketers – Akshay Dullarwar (Vidarbha) and Divya Gajraj (Rajasthan) – were suspended for eight and six months, respectively, for similar inadvertent doping offences.