Former New Zealand cricket team skipper Brendon McCullum has finally broken his silence on being tested positive during his stint with Gujarat Lions in the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL).
In an interview with stuff.co.nz, McCullum said that he suffers from asthma, and therefore, had to increase his usual dose of medicine to cope up with heavy pollution in New Delhi back then.
As a result, the swashbuckling Kiwi batsman’s urine sample showed excessive level of salbutamol, a drug which is part of inhalers used to treat asthma.
Following the result of the test, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) approached him and the 36-year-old took the help from a panel of independent medical experts in Sweden to secure a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). This brought an end to the matter.
“I certainly don’t see it as a failed drug test. It was just a case of we just need to seek clarification and apply for this. I have no ill-feeling about [the process] and I also have no guilt or remorse about it because I needed a puff of my inhaler at that time,” he was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.
“There was a bit of a process to go through to make sure they had all the information and ticked off the areas they wanted to see, but we went through it all and [the BCCI] were actually pretty good to work with in the end,” he added.
Playing for Lions, McCullum scored a whirlwind 36-ball 60 to help his team secure a slender one-run win over Delhi Daredevils on that day. The test was conducted after the game got over.
Though his doctors and legal team prepared a defence that helped him come out of the entire episode clean in January 2017 itself, the New Zealand batsman decided to speak on it in public now because he wanted to put an end to the rumours surrounding the issue.
“I’ve heard this sort of rumbling around in the background for a while and I actually said to my wife, ‘I don’t know why we don’t just deal with this now, I’ve got nothing to hide and it is better off just talking about stuff rather than having other people talking about it’. Otherwise it just grows and festers.
“As far as I am concerned it was just a matter of making sure we got everything signed off properly, rather than it being a failed drug test,” he concluded.