Shaw doping ban raises questions for India

Shaw doping ban raises questions for India

NEW DELHI: India’s powerful cricket board is under pressure to bring its anti-doping procedures into line with world standards after questions were raised over the ban handed to teenage star Prithvi Shaw.

Shaw, the 19-year-old prodigy often compared to Sachin Tendulkar, last week received an eight-month ban after the Board of Control for Cricket in India ruled he “inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance (terbutaline), which can commonly be found in cough syrups”.

Shaw’s ban was backdated to March 16, despite the fact he was playing for the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League until May 8. He will be available again from November 16, just after the start of India’s international season.

The BCCI insists on handling its doping analysis and sanctions in-house, rebuffing pressure from the World Anti-Doping Agency to come under the ambit of India’s WADA-accredited national anti-doping body.

However, concern is growing about the arrangements, with many calling for more rigorous testing by an independent body. “The Indian Board does not have a robust anti-doping set-up and cricketers are not regularly tested during all national and age-group competitions,” The Hindustan Times said, adding that Shaw was given the “lightest sentence possible”.

Indian all-rounder Yusuf Pathan also tested positive for terbutaline in 2018 and received a backdated ban after the BCCI accepted he took it “inadvertently”, offering the same explanation that the drug is often found in cough syrups.

Last year, WADA urged the International Cricket Council to intervene in matter.Doping cases are rare in cricket. One of the most prominent was in 2003, when Australia’s Shane Warne received a year’s suspension for taking a banned diuretic.

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