Kolkata: Indian goalkeeper Subrata Paul now faces suspension after he failed a dope test conducted by the NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) before India’s friendly against Cambodia, which preceded the 2019 Asian Games qualifier against Myanmar on March 28.
Officials of the NADA had conducted the test in Mumbai and after results of the same were revealed, NADA in a letter to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) confirmed that the goalkeeper had failed the dope test.
Paul is currently the goalie of I-League team DSK Shivajians and also features for the Northeast United FC in the Indian Super League (ISL). In an exclusive telephone conversation with the Hindustan Times, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said that Paul’s I-League club has been informed about this development.
He however let Paul take his own call under these circumstances.
“It is entirely up to Subrata now. He can seek a B sample test done and should that also test positive, he could face a more severe sanction. Or he can appeal and hope for leniency. Of course, if he asks us for help, we will guide him about what to do,“ said Das.
Paul has been no less than a role model for any Indian budding goalkeeper. Honoured with the Arjuna award just last year, he came into the limelight after his brilliant performances against South Korea in 2011 for which he was also referred to as the Spiderman of India.
The 30-year old from Sodepur, West Bengal has been one of the leading keepers in the country ever since he made his debut in the 2007 Nehru Cup under coach Bob Houghton. With him as the stopper, India won three Nehru Cups. He has had 64 international appearances so far.
It is not at all a good and a healthy sign for Indian sports that a sportsperson of such high repute fail in a dope test. It also doesn’t set a good example for the youth, who looks up towards taking up the game as a profession, someday.
What’s more alarming and needs attention is the fact that these dope-related offences have been constantly increasing since 2009 and as of now, a total of 687 Indian athletes have faced life bans owing to this crime.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times and Sportskeeda.com)