The Indian international tested positive for a banned substance.

Indian international and ATK Mohun Bagan defender Ashutosh Mehta has been handed a two-year suspension by the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP). The suspension has been imposed for an offence involving morphine (narcotics), according to a court order dated 14 September.

Mehta can appeal the decision before the Anti-Doping Appeal Panel (ADAP) if he wishes to. However, the player has accepted a voluntary provisional two-year suspension from 24 June 2022. Morphine is categorized under “specified substance” and normally attracts a sanction of two years.

According to journalist K.P. Mohan, the right-back was tested by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on February 8 in Goa, prior to an ISL match against Hyderabad FC. Morphine was found in Mehta’s urine sample. The player faced a hearing after not making the starting XI.

Ashutosh Mehta suspended for two years

He claimed that he was given the medicine by a teammate and believed it was from an ayurvedic source. The other player reportedly tested “negative” for the substance, despite Mehta helping NADA identify him. The drug apparently helped Mehta recover from “body pain,” but the reason was dismissed as “inconsequential.”

The 31-year-old Ashutosh Mehta has played a total of 234 times across leagues and competitions for Mumbai City, Pune City, Aizawl FC, Mohun Bagan, NorthEast United and ATK Mohun Bagan. The marauding full-back has found the back of the net 11 times. He made his debut in the 2010-11 season for Mumbai against HAL in the Federation Cup.

Mehta made his national team debut against Oman in 2021, his only cap to-date. The game ended 1-1. He has won two I-League titles in 2017 and 2020, with Aizawl and Mohun Bagan respectively and has been a regular starter over the years for the clubs he has represented. He has taken part in all ISL seasons since the league’s inception.

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