Dubai: When Prithvi Shaw held aloft the Youth World Cup cricket trophy as captain of the Indian team early last year, he was being touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket alongwith Rishabh Pant. The Mumbai batsman, however, received a severe jolt for his career when on Tuesday, Shaw was suspended by Indian cricket board from all forms of cricket for eight months due to a ‘doping violation.’
Shaw’s offence? Ingestion of an over-the-counter cough syrup he had taken for his cough, which contained Terbutaline. A specified substance, Terbutaline is prohibited both in and out of competition in the WADA prohibited list of substances – and caused trouble for Yousuf Pathan, a former international cricketer, who was handed a five-month ban by the BCCI only last year.
Shaw,20, a key member of the Delhi Capitals squad in Indian Premier League and very much in the running for a berth in the recent ICC World Cup, is the most high profile name among the trio of cricketers who were suspended by the BCCI on Tuesday for such violations. Two more domestic cricketers: Akshay Dullarwar of Vidarbha and Divya Gajraj of Rajasthan have been also handed similar suspensions.
A crestfallen Shaw, whose suspension has started with a retrospective effect from March 16, 2019 and will end at midnight on November 15, tweeted: "I accept my fate with all sincerety. While I am still nursing an injury which I suffered during my last tournament, this news has really shaken me. I have to take this in my stride & hope it inspires others in our sports fraternity too in India that we as athletes need to extremely careful in taking any medicine for the smallest of medical ailments even if the medicine is available over the counter and we need to always follow the protocol," Shaw tweeted.
Shaw had provided a urine sample, as part of the BCCI’s anti-doping testing programme, during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match on February 22 last in Indore. The sample was subsequently tested and found to contain Terbutaline, which is commonly found in cough syrups.
Shaw was formally charged with the commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) under the BCCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) Article 2.1 and provisionally suspended - pending determination of the charge. The cricketer responded to the charge by admitting the ADRV but asserted that it was inadvertent, being caused by his ingestion of the over the counter cough syrup he had taken for his cough.
It was certainly ignorance on part of Shaw, who as an young international, should have known better. While he now has to wage a lonely – and demanding battle – to make his way back into reckoning, Indian cricket already has it’s hands full following reports of the so-called ‘rift’ between the national team captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma.
Kohli had issued a strong denial prior to the team’s departure for the West Indies on Monday, but not everyone is ready to buy it.
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Kohli knew well enough that the so-called rift will form the focal point of the press conference questions, and he could have easily handled it better by ‘inviting’ Sharma to attend the conference and make a statement. It is accepted that the pre-tour departure conferences are meant only for the captain and the coach but when all the media are writing about this rift, they could have made an exception. What has now emerged out of this conference is nothing but Kohli and Shastri’s one-sided denial statement on the rift.
Kohli has stated that bringing personal lives into the picture is disrespectful. When they present themselves in public and keep expressing their views through Twitter and Instagram, the media will also find out who has ‘unfollowed’ another - especially when a controversy is brewing between two superstars. If they believe that personal lives need not be brought into the picture, they should have keep off all social media for a while.