Kolkata: Veteran India and DSK Shivajians goalkeeper Subrata Paul has firmly denied taking a banned substance after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) confirmed that it has received a report of him failing a dope test.
According to reports, Paul`s sample, tested by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), had traces of terbutaline.
Terbutaline is a bronchodilator and is taken when people have trouble breathing or a medical condition such as asthma.
"I have played football for a long time and I have done these tests like 15 times before. Never have I failed one, and at the age of 30 I won`t do anything like this," Paul, who has over 60 caps for the national team and is an Arjuna Award winner, told reporters on Tuesday.
"I have had a bronchial problem and I am not aware of TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption)," Paul, whose heroics under the bar in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup final is part of Indian football`s folklore, added.
Athletes may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications.
If the medication an athlete is required to take to treat an illness or condition happens to fall under the prohibited list, a Therapeutic Use Exemption may give that athlete the authorisation to take the needed medicine.
The purpose of the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE) is to ensure that the process of granting TUEs is harmonised across sports and countries.
The Sodepur lad, who has also won two Nehru Cups with India, can continue playing till his B sample report arrives but if he fails that one too, all points Shivajians got in matches he played will be docked. He turned out for North East United in the Indian Super League last year.
"I have spoken to Subrata. He has assured me that he has done nothing of that sort. It`s a cough syrup he was taking that might have led to the problem. He might seek an appeal. We will guide him in whatever way we can. But it`s entirely between him and NADA now," AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das told IANS over phone from New Delhi.
Paul was tested last month at an India preparatory camp before the friendly against Cambodia which preceded the 2019 Asian Cup qualifier away to Myanmar.