NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian batsman Yusuf Pathan has received a five-month ban due to a doping violation but will be free to play from Monday after it was backdated to August, the country’s cricket board (BCCI) has said. The 35-year-old, who played the last of his 57 one-day internationals in 2012 but has been active in domestic cricket, “inadvertently ingested” a prohibited substance to treat an upper respiratory tract infection, the BCCI said in a statement on Tuesday. A urine sample collected last year tested positive for terbutaline, which features in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances. He was provisionally suspended in October and the board, convinced by the player’s explanation, backdated the start of his five-month suspension to mid-August. “Having considered all of the evidence and taken expert external advice, the BCCI has accepted Mr Pathan’s explanation … and on that basis has agreed that a period of ineligibility of five months should apply, together with the disqualification of certain results.” Pathan, whose six-hitting ability and tidy off-spin bowling made him a limited-overs asset, is free to play from Monday. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)
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