Andre Russell's lawyer demands answers from JADCO in anti-doping case
Further details are being revealed about the anti-doping case involving West Indies allrounder Andre Russell with latest reports suggesting that the T20 specialist had indeed missed at least a couple of drug tests contrary to earlier reports which suggested that he had only failed to update the whereabouts clause in his personal diary or more importantly, let the concerned authorities know about his whereabouts when he was not playing.
According to The Jamaica Gleaner which is closely following the developments in the case, Russell’s lawyer Patrick Forster is hotly contesting the claim made by the Jamaica AntiDoping Commission (JADCO) that the West Indies cricketer had missed not two, but three doing tests.
At a preliminary hearing held in front of an independent panel, Forster admitted to two receiving two correspondences for missing out of competition testing – January to March 2015 and July to September 2015 – but challenged JADCO to provide evidence to support their claims of a further communication.
Missing three dope tests in a 12-month-period equates to a violation under the anti-doping code which could see the cricketer receive a ban for a maximum period of two years and so the correspondence claimed by Forster could hold key significance.
After initially agreeing that JADCO would produce the required files by Monday, they have been given time until August 10 to collect the required evidence. The final hearing in the case which cropped up i March this year after the JADCO accused Russell of missing three doping tests is slated for September 19 and 20.
A statement on the WADA website which reads as follows also supports JADCO’s case: "Any combination of three missed tests and/or failures to provide accurate whereabouts information within an 18-month period now leads to the opening of a disciplinary proceeding by the (national anti-doping organization) with jurisdiction over the athlete. Sanctions range between one and two years depending on the circumstances of the case."
Until the hearing in September at least, Russell will be free to continue playing cricket as he remains one of the most sought after cricketers by various T20 franchises all over the world. Big Bash League franchise Sydney Thunder will be eagerly looking forward to the final result of the hearing as they aim to have their star all-rounder who played a crucial role in their title-winning campaign last time around back in their colours.
He also represented the victorious Islamabad United franchise in the debut season of the Pakistan Super League and is one of the star attractions of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise in the IPL. He is currently playing for Jamaica Tallawahs in the CPL and played an all-round role in his side’s recent victory over Trinbago Knight Riders picking up four wickets and scoring 44 runs.