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BCCI suspends Punjab cricketer Abhshek Gupta for doping violation

Punjab wicket-keeper batsman Abhishek Gupta was today handed a retrospective eight-month suspension for an “inadvertent” doping violation.

The 27-year-old’s suspension started from January 15 and will end on September 14.

“Gupta had inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance (terbutaline), which can be commonly found in cough syrups,” said the BCCI in a statement.

The Board said it was satisfied with Gupta’s explanation.

“Gupta had provided a urine sample as part of the BCCI’s anti-doping testing program during a domestic T-20 competition on 15th January in New Delhi. His sample was subsequently tested and found to contain Terbutaline.

“Terbutaline, a specified substance, is prohibited both In & Out of Competition in the WADA Prohibited List of Substances.”

Gupta had consumed the banned substance at the prescription of his doctor, the BCCI stated.

“On 17th April 2018, Mr. Gupta was charged with the commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) under the BCCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) Article 2.1 and provisionally suspended pending determination of the charge.

“Gupta responded to the charge by admitting the ADRV but asserting that it was inadvertent, being caused by his ingestion of medication containing Terbutaline that had been prescribed for him by his doctor.”

Gupta, who made his First-Class debut last season, used the drug to treat Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI).

“The BCCI is satisfied with Gupta’s explanation that he had taken Terbutaline inadvertently to treat an URTI and not as a performance-enhancing drug.

“Having considered all of the evidence and taken expert external advice, the BCCI has accepted Gupta’s explanation of the cause of his ADRV, and on that basis has agreed that a period of ineligibility of eight months should apply, together with disqualification of certain results,” the statement added.

Gupta has played six first-class matches, six List A games and nine T20s.

In January, former India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan too was handed a five-month retrospective suspension for failing a dope test. His test sample too contained Terbutaline.

The BCCI doesn’t allow the National Anti-Doping Agency to test cricketers despite repeated requests from the government agency.

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