Former India skipper Subrata Paul refused to undergo a sample B drug test on Monday in what was seen as an attempt to pledge his innocence for testing positive for a banned substance last month after he was tested by National Anti-Doping Agency officials. The 31-year-old reportedly failed to turn up at the NADA headquarters in Delhi.

The Sample B tests are held amidst the presence of an independent observer. According to NADA regulations, a panel under a retired High Court judge will be assembled in a week’s time, where the goalkeeper will have to prove his innocence, reported IANS.

Earlier, the All India Football Federation had steered clear of the issue. “It’s now between him and NADA,” AIFF Secretary Kushal Das said. “He has to decide whether he wants his B sample tested. But of course, if he needs guidance, the federation is always there.”

A few weeks ago, Paul pledged innocence, saying, “I will prove my innocence as I have played the game with honesty and integrity in my career of more than 10 years now.” He had also said he will go for the confirmatory B sample test. “I will request for the B sample test as I believe that I have not done anything to fail a dope test. All the players were tested during the Mumbai national camp and I never thought that my sample will return positive.”

It is learnt that Paul consumed the substance through a cough syrup, which the Bengal goalkeeper has been taking to cope with a bronchial problem.