Weeks before the Indian Super League domestic player draft, goalkeeper Subrata Pal received a massive reprieve after the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) revoked his suspension with immediate effect. The anti-doping watchdog let him off with a warning after Pal failed a dope test in April this year. The NADA said in a statement that Pal was able to prove that he had not taken the prohibited drug intentionally. Instead, they have directed the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to take action against the national team doctor for failing to prescribe proper medicine. NADA has also warned the AIFF for negligence, alleging that the federation did not provide necessary guidelines that the players need to follow.
Pal had tested positive for Terbutaline, a drug that is banned by the World Anti Doping Agency. The goalkeeper’s sample was collected during Indian team’s camp in Mumbai in March but the result was made public the following month. Consequently, Pal was provisionally suspended by NADA. During his hearing, though, Pal was able to convince NADA’s anti-doping panel that he had inadvertently consumed the drug. “In this case, the anti-doping rule violation involves a specified substance and the athlete was able to prove that the dope violation was not intentional. Under article 10.5.1.1 of the NADA code wherein a provision for no significant fault or negligence is available, Subrata Paul has been reprimanded for anti doping rule violation although no period of ineligibility has been imposed upon him. His suspension stands revoked with immediate effect,” the NADA release stated. The anti-doping panel conducted hearings on May 31 and June 6. The disciplinary panel had some strong words for the AIFF, which had been negligent in providing proper guidelines for its players.
“The Anti Doping Disciplinary Panel has also warned the All India Football Federation for negligence as it has failed to provide guidelines to be followed by team doctor appointed by them. It is a strict liability of the federation to take absolute precaution for prohibited substances in any form either in medicines or dietary/nutritional supplements.” The decision means that Pal will be eligible to be a part of ISL player draft, which will be held in Mumbai on July 23.
Meanwhile, the AIFF could not arrive at a consensus over the proposal to increase the number of foreign players in the I-League from five to eight. The league committee has referred the matter to AIFF’s executive committee after five clubs, including champions Aizawl FC, told the AIFF that they were against introducing eight foreigners, as demanded by East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. The federation said ISL and I-League will begin simultaneously after the under-17 World Cup in October. However, the format and timing of the proposed Super Cup/Champions Cup will be finalised after reviewing the calendar of the SAFF Championships to be held in Bangladesh in 2018, and further discussions with the ISL organisers.
Kanu, Cambiasso for draw
Legendary footballers Esteban Cambiasso and Nwankwo Kanu along with Indian sporting icons Sunil Chhetri and PV Sindhu will attend the official draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in India in October. The draw, to be held in Mumbai on Friday, will also be attended by officials from the participating teams and the host cities. The event will be telecasted live on FIFA.com.