Mumbai's batsman Prithvi Shaw involved in a doping violation

Updated: Jul 31, 2019, 10:24 IST | Harit N Joshi

Extensive BCCI workshops, 24x7 helpline, yearly-updated pocket diary of banned substances and despite all this, Mumbai's India batsman Prithvi Shaw is involved in a doping violation

Mumbai's batsman Prithvi Shaw involved in a doping violation
Prithvi Shaw

Prithvi Shaw has seen enough highs and lows in his short career. If 2018 was all about highs — leading India to U-19 World Cup victory and scoring a century on his Test debut to become India's youngest centurion, this year has been mostly about experiencing lows. An ankle injury ruled him out of the Australia tour and yesterday he was rocked by the news of his suspension by the BCCI for doping violation. According to a BCCI release, Shaw, "inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups". Shaw was slapped a retrospective ban of eight months, starting from March 16 and ending on November 15. He is eligible to use BCCI or Mumbai Cricket Association facilities only from September 16. Vidarbha's Akshay Dullarwar was also slapped an eight-month ban for doping violation, while Rajasthan's junior cricketer Divya Gajraj was suspended for six months since he is a minor.

Also Read: Prithvi Shaw and dad should have been alert

The BCCI stated that Shaw's urine sample taken during Mumbai's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match against Punjab on February 22 in Indore, contained terbutaline, a specified substance, prohibited both during 'In & Out of Competition' in WADA's prohibited list of substances. Shaw scored eight runs in that match. He was returning to action after a three-month lay-off due an ankle injury which he suffered during a tour game on the 2018-19 tour of Australia. Apart from providing a handbook [in English and Hindi] about anti-corruption and anti-doping rules to every cricketer, the BCCI also conducts extensive workshops for all state and age-group players before the start of the season. There is a dedicated, 24x7 anti-doping helpline [9136694499/9820556566] for players to check before taking any medication. Also provided is a pocket diary regarding banned substances. Every year in January, a new diary is printed with updated changes from WADA.

Coach Samant shocked

Vinayak Samant, who was Mumbai's coach until recently, was shocked by Shaw's carelessness. "He was down with cold and our team physio was taking care of him. But it is shocking that he did not keep the physio in the loop and chose to consult his father [Pankaj]. As an India cricketer, he is expected to know the rules. There is enough education provided by the BCCI these days on such things [anti-doping and anti-corruption]," Samant told mid-day.

NCA advice not followed?

There are rumours that Shaw went against the advice of the National Cricket Academy to play in the Mumbai T20 league despite suffering an injury in the IPL. A BCCI report stated that Shaw was anxious that the symptoms of his cough and cold would prevent him from playing and getting his career back on track after the ankle injury. The BCCI's report said that there was no evidence or basis to believe that Shaw enjoyed any performance-enhancing benefit from terbutaline found in his system on the day of the match. He managed just 134 runs in eight innings before being dropped for the last two games.

'Learn from Sachin'

Prof Ratnakar Shetty, the former games development general manager of the BCCI, narrated an incident involving Sachin Tendulkar during his playing days. "A supplement was suggested for the recovery of his back problem but Sachin was apprehensive and wanted it to be tested before taking it. This happened when the BCCI didn't have its dope testing measures in place and only the International Cricket Council did random testing," said Shetty. "If Prithvi has to put his career back on track, he has to learn from these greats," he added.

Also Read: Virat Kohli on rift with Rohit Sharma: Baffling and absolutely ridiculous

What is terbutaline?

Terbutaline is a drug used as a reliever inhaler in the management of asthma symptoms and as a tocolytic [anti-contraction medication] to delay pre-term labour for up to 48 hours. It is also used as a fast-acting bronchodilator (used in short-term asthma treatment). It is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited drugs, except when administered by inhalation and if a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) has been obtained in advance.

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