Indian national team goalkeeper Subrata Pal has shockingly failed a dope test which was conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency. This news will come as huge blow to not only Indian football but to the entire sports fraternity in the country.
Pal failed the dope test on the 18th of March just prior to India’s friendly match against Cambodia which they 3-2. Pal did not take part in that match as Gurpreet Singh was in the goal for India.
Subrata Pal was a recipient of the Arjuna award in 2016 due to his outstanding contributions to Indian football. He has been one of the leading faces of football in country and is a role model for kids who aspire to one day play for India which makes this failed dope test all the more worrying.
Pal was always considered a model professional whose commitment to the game was never in question. Now this shocking news has changed everything as his career as a national team goalkeeper hangs in the balance.
This is sad news for Indian football. The game has slowly but surely started growing over the past few years. The advent of the ISL along with increasing TV coverage of the best football leagues in the world has helped the game to grow in India. The likes of Pal and Sunil Chettri are the biggest role models for Indian football which is why Pal’s offence could have a long lasting impact in Indian football.
The impact could also have consequences beyond football. Other national players will be scrutinized as the NADA will look to catch other such players.
In 2014, India was only behind Russia and Italy for the most number of doping offenders. We don’t seem to win much, but that hasn’t curbed the number of athletes involved in doping.