Ashutosh Mehta, who played for the ATK Mohun Bagan as a defender, was handed a two-year suspension by the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel after failing a drug test earlier this year while playing for the football giants ATK Mohun Bagan in the Indian Super League competition (ADDP).
Ashutosh Mehta's urine sample, which was collected on February 8 in Goa during the game between Bagan and Hyderabad FC, contained morphine, as per instruction from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). Mehta watched that ISL contest from the sidelines and did not participate in that game which was at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa.
Mehta has consented to a voluntary temporary suspension that will start on June 24, 2022, and the suspension will last for the duration of that date. The right-back, who is 31 years old, argued during the court in his case that he was given the prescription by a friend to cure a bodily ailment he thought was ayurvedic. Ashutosh Mehta received a two-year punishment after identifying the colleague to get a lighter sentence.
Mehta begged for the benefit of a major assistance provision, insisting that he had no intention of using drugs. In an effort to defend himself, he said that one of his teammates "allegedly administered him with opium, a source of morphine in the form of 'Kaala Daba' (literally translating to 'Black Medicine') in the pretext of it being an Ayurvedic Medicine”.
It is determined that the sportsman broke NADA ADR 2021's Articles 2.1 and 2.2. Additionally, the panel believes that the anti-doping infraction was an accident, " the panel headed by Chaitanya Mahajan said in the order. We accordingly hold that the athlete is liable for a period of ineligibility of two years.”
It was also noted in the hearing that the colleague Mehta named tested drug-free during the dope test. If the football player so chooses, he may appeal the decision before the Anti-Doping Appeal Panel (ADAP).
Ashutosh Mehta made his first international appearance for India in March 2021 against Oman while playing for Igor Stimac. For the senior Indian squad, he only made one appearance.