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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Terbutaline ~ cough syrup and Prithvi Shaw ban !!

Unlikely that one would have heard of George Rieveschl or of his research on Diphenhydramine.  How often do you take cough syrups ? – and would you buy one over the counter without a Doctor’s prescription ??

At Rajkot on Jan 1-5, 2017 – Tamil Nadu played Mumbai in a Ranji semi-finals and lost.  The player of the match was debutant Prithvi Shaw who scored a century in 2nd innings.  In Oct 2018 at the same venue,  Rajkot, against not-so mighty West Indies teen-age sensation, Prithvi Shaw marked his Test debut with a commanding 99-ball hundred - the third fastest (in terms of balls) on debut. Shaw also became the youngest Indian - and fourth overall - to hit a century on debut. He smashed more records against  a depleted West Indies attack at the SCA ground in Rajkot, where he had cracked a ton in his maiden first-class game in January 2017.

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine mainly used to treat allergies. It is also used for insomnia, symptoms of the common cold, tremor in parkinsonism, and nausea. Its common side effects include sleepiness, poor coordination, and an upset stomach. Diphenhydramine was first made by George Rieveschl and came into commercial use in 1946. It is available as a generic medication.

Terbutaline is now in news and could be hotly searched one on the web.  Sold under the brand name Bricanyl among others, is a β2 adrenergic receptor agonist, used as a "reliever" inhaler in the management of asthma symptoms and as a tocolytic (anti-contraction medication).  India Test opener Prithvi Shaw has been suspended until November 15, 2019 for a doping violation. A BCCI release said Shaw had "inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups."

Cough syrups !  ~ perhaps the most well known to us is ‘Benadryl’ which causes drowsiness.  It is  used to relieve the symptoms of dry raspy coughs due to a cold. The cough syrup  contains medicines called diphenhydramine and ammonium chloride. Diphenhydramine belongs to a group of medicines called 'antihistamines'. Diphenhydramine helps to reduce common cold symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Diphenhydramine also helps suppress dry, raspy coughs by its action in the brain. Ammonium chloride is an expectorant.  The product composition besides : •  Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride I.P. 14.08 mg&  Ammonium Chloride I.P. 138 mg - •  Ethanol (95%) I.P. 0.2625 ml.  Benadryl was patented inn 1966.

In 2016, Diva Maria Sharapova shocked the tennis world when she announced she had failed a drug test at the Australian Open. At almost the same time Maria tested positive, another Russian athlete tested positive for meldonium. This substance was found in the system of figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova who now, together with her partner Dmitri Soloviev, had to miss  the world skating championships.  Additionally, in February 2016 Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov, was caught taking meldonium while competing on the Katyusha cycling team.Doping in Sports in nothing new ~ perhaps in earlier era, tests were not as severe ad perhaps some got away with it.. .. .. ..the sporting World that had always admired Lance Armstrong for his resilience, was shocked to hear the doping allegations.  When Seoul Olympics was on air live in 1988, the heart throb was Ben Johnson, born in Jamaica but running for Canada – one of the firsts to break the 10 sec barrier.  

Not picked in the Test squad for the upcoming West Indies tour because of a hip injury, Shaw will also not be allowed to participate in the home Tests against South Africa in October as well as the first Test against Bangladesh, which begins on November 14.Shaw had provided a urine sample as part of the BCCI's anti-doping testing programme on the day of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match against Punjab on February 22 in Indore. His sample was subsequently tested and found to contain Terbutaline. "Terbutaline, a specified substance, is prohibited both In & Out of Competition in the WADA Prohibited List of Substances," the BCCI release said.

Shaw was then charged on July 16 under the BCCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) Article 2.1 and provisionally suspended pending determination of the charge. He admitted to the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) but asserted it was "inadvertent, being caused by his ingestion of the over the counter cough syrup he had taken for his cough."The BCCI was "satisfied" with the explanation that Shaw had taken "Terbutaline inadvertently to treat an Respiratory Tract Infection and not as a performance-enhancing drug." The board considered all of the evidence and took "expert external advice" before accepting Shaw's explanation and agreed that a "period of ineligibility of eight months should apply, together with disqualification of certain results".

"Because Mr. Shaw 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 (22nd February 2019). However, the BCCI ADR Article 10.10.2 also requires Mr. Shaw to actually serve one half of the period of ineligibility. Therefore, further to BCCI ADR Article 10.10.2, the eight-month period of Ineligibility will be deemed to have started to run on 16th March 2019, so that it will end at midnight on 15th November 2019," the BCCI statement said.  However, Shaw "may" return to train with his state team and/or to use the facilities of any club or other member organisation of the BCCI after midnight on 15th Sept 2019. 

Along with Shaw, Vidarbha's Akshay Dullarwar and Rajasthan's Divya Gajraj were also suspended for doping violations. The two had "inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance" for a treatment of an infection and an eye injury respectively.

So ugly head of doping again !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
31st July 2019.

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