Baroda allrounder Yusuf Pathan has been handed a back-dated five-month ban by the BCCI. The 35-year-old, who last played for India in 2012, was found to be in violation of the BCCI's anti-doping rules, having ingested the banned substance Terbutaline. The ban expires at midnight on January 14, 2018.
A BCCI statement said Pathan had "inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups". Pathan had provided a urine sample as part of the BCCI's anti-doping testing programme during the domestic T20 competition on March 16 last year. Upon testing, his sample was found to contain Terbutaline, a substance that is prohibited both in and out of competition in the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) list of prohibited substances.
Pathan was charged with an anti-doping violation under the BCCI Anti-Doping Rules on October 27 and was provisionally suspended pending determination of the charge. Eventually, his five-month ban was deemed to have started from August 15 last year as the BCCI was satisfied with Pathan's explanation that - as per the board release - he had "taken Terbutaline inadvertently 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 [anti-doping rules violation], and on that basis has agreed that a period of ineligibility of five months should apply," the BCCI release said.
On the decision to back-date the suspension, the release said: "Under BCCI ADR [anti-doping rules] Article 10.10.3, Mr Pathan is entitled to the full credit against that period of ineligibility for the provisional suspension that he has been serving since 28 October, 2017.
"In addition, there is discretion under BCCI ADR Article 10.10.2 to back-date the start date of the period of ineligibility still further on account of Mr Pathan's prompt admission of his ADRV upon being confronted with it by the BCCI, and under BCCI ADR Article 10.10.1 on account of the delays in the results management in this case that are not attributable to Mr Pathan."
The BCCI also noted that Pathan had previously been drug-tested five times without any "adverse analytical findings". According to the board, while Pathan had departed from the rigorous standard of "utmost caution" expected of a player under the BCCI's Anti-Doping Rules in this instance, his departure from such standard was deemed to not be "significant".
In a statement, Pathan said he would be more careful with his choice of medication in the future. "The prohibited substance was detected in my sample because of a medicine I was taking for throat infection," he said. "I would like to once again assure to the BCCI, Baroda Cricket Association and my fans and I promise to be more careful with what I consume henceforth. In hindsight, I should have been more careful and checked the status of the medications with the BCCI's dedicated anti-doping helpline."
Pathan had played only two matches for Baroda during the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season, before his provisional ban took effect, scoring 111 and 136* against Madhya Pradesh. He will be eligible to return to action in the Super League phase of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.