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Brendon McCullum clears the air about positive drug test

Brendon McCullum raises his bat after notching up his half-century BCCI

Brendon McCullum has cleared the air about a positive drug test during his time with Gujarat Lions in IPL 2016.

The former New Zealand captain has asthma and, in light of heavy pollution in Delhi at the time, he needed more than the usual dose of his medicine. As a result, McCullum's urine sample was found to have exceeded the allowable limit for salbutamol, a drug that is part of inhalers used to treat asthma. The BCCI approached McCullum with these findings following which he secured a retroactive therapeutic use exemption from a panel of independent medical experts in Sweden to close the matter and clear his name.

"There was a bit of a process to go through to make sure they had all the information and ticked off the areas they wanted to see, but we went through it all and [the BCCI] were actually pretty good to work with in the end," McCullum told stuff.co.nz.

"I certainly don't see it as a failed drug test. It was just a case of we just need to seek clarification and apply for this. I have no ill-feeling about [the process] and I also have no guilt or remorse about it because I needed a puff of my inhaler at that time."

McCullum hit 60 off 36 at the top of the order in a one-run win for the Lions against Delhi Daredevils in the game that day. But a test after the game resulted in an "adverse analytical finding" because the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules state any dosage that is not consistent with therapeutic use will be considered a violation.

McCullum's doctors and legal team then prepared his defence, which had proven successful last January itself, but he chose to go public with the information now because he wanted to quash the rumours.

"I've heard this sort of rumbling around in the background for a while and I actually said to my wife, 'I don't know why we don't just deal with this now, I've got nothing to hide and it is better off just talking about stuff rather than having other people talking about it'. Otherwise it just grows and festers.

"As far as I am concerned it was just a matter of making sure we got everything signed off properly, rather than it being a failed drug test."

McCullum, who has had asthma since childhood, found the going particularly tough in Delhi whose pollution levels have touched dangerous levels in recent years. In November 2016, a first-class match between Gujarat and Bengal had to be abandoned due to smog, and in December 2017, a Test between India and Sri Lanka was severely affected by pollution, with several Sri Lankan players taking ill.