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Details on Terbutaline – The drug which got Prithvi Shaw suspended

It has been kept in the category of banned drugs by WADA.

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCI) recently handed Prithvi Shaw with a backdated eight-month suspension. The same is for the reason that he was tested positive for ingesting a prohibited substance – Terbutaline, which is found in cough syrups. The ban means that the 19-year-old from Thane won’t be able to take part in the home series against South Africa and Bangladesh.

He had provided a urine sample during the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy back in February after which he was found guilty. Terbutaline is prohibited both in and out of Competition in the WADA Prohibited List of Substances and a few others were also tested positive for the same substance. It has been kept in the category of banned drugs by WADA because it increases muscle strength.

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Not helpful for cricketers

The European Respiratory Journal in its report made it clear that consuming terbutaline medication increases anaerobic performance, i.e. the person can live without oxygen for a long time, compared to normal conditions. However, according to BCCI’s anti-doping manager Dr Abhijit Salvi, Terbutaline is unlikely to enhance the performance of cricketers.

“Terbutaline helps to open the airways and thereby ventilate the lungs effectively. It may be beneficial to cyclists, runners, etc., but wouldn’t really help a cricketer perform better,” Salvi was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo. BCCI was satisfied with Shaw’s explanation that he had taken Terbutaline to treat a Respiratory Tract Infection and not as a performance-enhancing drug.

This was the maiden time when Shaw was charged with the commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) under the BCCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) Article 2.1. After being slapped with the punishment, Shaw put forth a statement where he accepted his mistake. Moreover, the promising youngster also wished for the same to inspire others in the sports fraternity.

Shaw made his international debut in the Test series against the Windies and scored a century in his very first Test. Then he was picked to play in the Tests versus Australia, but an ankle injury meant he was ruled out. He also couldn’t make the cut for the upcoming series versus the Windies and he is recovering from a calf injury. His last competitive match was for Delhi Capitals in the IPL.

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