Abhishek Gupta, who is registered with the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), has been suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for a doping violation.
According to a statement by BCCI, Gupta had inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups.
Gupta, a wicket-keeper batsman from Punjab had provided a urine sample as part of the BCCI's anti-doping testing program during a domestic T-20 competition on January 15 this year in New Delhi.
His sample was subsequently tested and found to contain terbutaline, a specified substance, which is prohibited both in and out of competition in the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) prohibited list of substances.
On April 17, Gupta was charged with the commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV), under the BCCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) Article 2.1 and has been provisionally suspended pending determination of the charge.
He responded to the charge by admitting the ADRV but asserting that it was inadvertent, being caused by his ingestion of medication containing terbutaline that had been prescribed for him by his doctor.
BCCI's Acting Honorary Secretary, Amitabh Choudhary said in a statement, "The BCCI is satisfied with Mr. Gupta's explanation that 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. Gupta's explanation of the cause of his ADRV, and on that basis has agreed that a period of ineligibility of eight months should apply, together with disqualification of certain results."
Choudhary stressed that the BCCI has a zero-tolerance approach towards doping in cricket.
"All cricketers are personally responsible for ensuring that anything they eat, drink or put in their body does not give rise to an ADRV under the BCCI Anti-Doping Code. The BCCI provides a dedicated 24X7 Anti-Doping Helpline where the cricketers and cricket support personnel can contact for any drug queries," he further said.
Under BCCI ADR Article 10.10.3, Gupta is entitled to full credit against that period of ineligibility for the provisional suspension that he has been serving since April 18.
"In addition, because Mr. Gupta promptly admitted his ADRV upon being confronted with it by the BCCI, there is discretion under BCCI ADR Article 10.10.2 to back-date the start of the period of ineligibility to the date of sample collection (January 15, 2018). The eight-month period of ineligibility will, therefore, be deemed to have started to run on 15th January 2018, so that it will end at midnight on September 14, 2018," Choudhary concluded.