Serving a back-dated ban of 5 months for a doping violation, all-rounder Yusuf Pathan has cleared the air around his ban and has thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for allowing him to plead his case in a fair and reasonable manner. The 35-year-old was banned after he inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance (Terbutaline), which can be commonly found in cough syrups.
The Baroda-born cricketer had provided a urine sample as part of the BCCI's anti-doping testing programme during a domestic Twenty20 competition on March 16 last year in Delhi. Pathan is the second Indian cricketer to have failed a dope test. In 2013, Delhi fast bowler Pradeep Sangwan was banned for 18 months after he returned a positive test.
In his response, the hard-hitting cricketer released a statement on his official Twitter handle saying that he was confident of being cleared of the charge and promised to act more responsibly in future.
“Competing for India and my home state Baroda has been a matter of immense pride and encouragement for me and I would never act in any manner to bring my motherland or Baroda, in any kind of disrepute,” Pathan said.
“In hindsight, I should have been more careful and checked the status of the medications with BCCI’s dedicated anti-doping helpline.”
Pathan's ban will end on January 14, having started on August 15 last year. Thereby, he will be available for the Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ auction which is scheduled to be held on January 27 and 28 in Bengaluru. Pathan was retained by the two-time IPL champs Kolkata Knight Riders in the recently happened player retention event.
The Baroda all-rounder, who has played 57 ODIs and 22 T20 Internationals for India, 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".
"Mr Pathan responded to the charge by admitting the ADRV and asserting that it was caused by his ingestion of a medication containing Terbutaline that had been mistakenly given to him instead of the medication prescribed for him, which did not contain any prohibited substance," the BCCI explained.
The BCCI said it is "satisfied" with Pathan's explanation that was using the medication to "treat an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI) and not as a performance-enhancing drug".
"Having considered all of the evidence and taken expert external advice, the BCCI has accepted Mr Pathan's explanation of the cause of his ADRV, and on that basis has agreed that a period of ineligibility of five months should apply, together with the disqualification of certain results," the BCCI stated.