Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the ICC, felt that the ICC has done its bit to keep cricketers up to date with banned substances that most commonly cause problems in sport and termed it “disappointing” that two of Pakistan’s premier bowlers had failed a drug test before their opening game of the Champions Trophy.
“Players have been tested since 2002,” said Speed while addressing the media in Jaipur, “and I believe they’re well aware of the substances on the list, as well as substances that most commonly cause problems for other sports. A number of times, the list has been advised to the cricket boards,” he added.
“This is not the first tournament when ICC has tested for drugs. We started in 2002 at the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand. We’ve tested at two more U-19 World Cups thereafter. We also did the test in the 2004 Champions Trophy in England as well as the 2003 World Cup in South Africa,” he revealed.
He also clarified that the tests conducted on the 19 Pakistan players were done entirely at the initiative of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), adding that four other countries had also conducted regular tests for their players.
“Cricket is regarded as a low-risk sport in terms of doping,” he continued. But five of our members - England, South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia ñ carry out regular testing within their own countries. The ICC has signed the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) code, as have most countries,” he explained.
Speed also revealed that the WADA code provided players the defence option. “Under the WADA code, there are options for the player to prove no significant fault and no performance enhancing effect of the substance. There are some defences available there, under the WADA code,” he revealed.
But would the ICC accept the PCB’s verdict on Shoaib Akhtar, even if they feel it was too light? “I don’t want to speculate about matters in the future,” Speed continued. “There’s nothing in the ICC’s anti-doping policy that states that we can come in there (if Pakistan deliver and judgement and the ICC are not happy) but probably WADA can come in if they aren’t happy. Again that’s only if the PCB have signed the WADA agreement. During the Shane Warne incident, WADA made comments about his one-day ban. They might have had the right to appeal but they chose not to,” he added.
Speed wasn’t willing to make too many comments on Shoaib, and how this ban could affect his international career. “Shoaib has always been an exciting cricketer, a character,” he added, “and history will judge him the way it has to.”
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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