Will Prove My Innocence, Says Subrata Paul After Failing Dope Test

The Indian goalkeeper’s sample A tested positive. 

3 min read
India goalkeeper Subrata Paul has tested positive for a banned substance(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheSubrataPaul/photos/?ref=page_internal">Subrata Paul</a>)

India goalkeeper Subrata Paul has tested positive for a banned substance, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said on Tuesday. The footballer is staring at career-threatening four-year ban but has vowed to prove himself innocent by going for the confirmatory 'B' sample test.

All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das said Paul, an Arjuna Awardee, flunked an out-of-competition test last month.

Yes, Subrata Paul’s ‘A’ sample has returned positive for a banned substance and he can be banned for four years if his ‘B’ sample also tests positive. The urine sample was taken by NADA on March 18 when the Indian team was in the national camp in Mumbai. All the players were tested during that camp
AIFF Secretary Kushal Das to PTI

He added:

Actually, I am shocked at this development. Not many football players have failed dope tests. I never thought a player of his stature would fail a dope test.

Under WADA rules, the National Anti-Doping Agency will have to inform the player as well as the federation about the dope result. The player has the right to request for a confirmatory 'B' sample test. He will be put under provisional suspension pending his 'B' sample test.

National Anti-Doping Agency chief Navin Agarwal confirmed the former India captain was tested by NADA officials in March but declined to elaborate further.

It’s now between him and NADA. He has to decide whether he wants his B sample tested. But of course if he needs guidance, the federation is always there.
Navin Agarwal to Reuters

Under new WADA rules, a first-time dope offender will serve a maximum period of four-years.

‘Haven’t Been Officially Informed,’ Says Paul

The 30-year-old Paul said he will go for the 'B' sample test and claimed that he will prove his innocence.

I am shocked at this news that I failed a dope test. I have not got any official communication from the NADA or the AIFF. I am getting to know about this from the media. I will prove my innocence as I have played the game with honesty and integrity in my career of more than 10 years now.
Subrata Paul to PTI

He added:

I will request for the ‘B’ sample test as I believe that I haven’t done anything to fail a dope test. All the players were tested during the Mumbai national camp and I never thought that my sample will return positive.

Paul, who made his India debut in 2007 and went onto represent the country 64 times till 2015, said he has achieved most of whatever he had set out for in his career. And there is no reason for him to do cheat and risk tarnishing his reputation.

The AIFF officials, the fans, fellow players and the media know that I have been an honest player throughout my career. I have built up a reputation and I have achieved a lot in my career, for my clubs and for my country. At this point in time of my career, I do not need anything like taking a banned drug to enhance my performance. So, I am shocked at this development. My reputation is at stake and I want to clear my name. That is why I will go for the ‘B’ sample test.

Paul, from West Bengal, played a major role in India winning the Nehru Cup international tournament in 2007 and 2009.

Paul's performances were also instrumental in India winning the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup in Hyderabad, which led to the qualification for the AFC Asian Cup held in Doha in 2011.

The 30-year-old was India's number one choice under the bar before slipping down the pecking order, behind Norway-based Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, in recent times.

Paul was part of the Indian squad which played against Cambodia in an international friendly (March 22) and against Myanmar (March 28) for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, but did not make it to the playing eleven.

He played for NorthEast United in the 2016 Indian Super League season and he is currently playing for DSK Shivajians in the I-League. He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2016.

(With inputs from PTI and Reuters.)

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