5 cricketers who had trouble with dope tests
Although failed dope tests are not a common phenomenon in the cricket world, there have been a few instances every now and then when cricketers have invited doping trouble on themselves. The most recent occurence came just a few days back when Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera was sent back home before the start of his team’s tour to New Zealand for failing a dope test conducted during their previous series against Pakistan.Over the past few years, there have been a number of infamous doping controversies, some involving star cricketers, which led to dire consequences in most cases. Here we catch a glimpse of 5 cricketers who faced trouble with dope tests:
#5 Raza Hasan (Pakistan)
One of the more recent instances of players being involved in a doping controversy is the case of Raza Hasan of Pakistan. The young Pakistani left-arm spinner was unable to clear a dope test during a domestic competition as he tested positive for cocaine.
As a result of this, the Pakistan Cricket Board imposed a 2-year ban on Hasan which refrains him from taking active part in the country’s cricket. This is one of quite a few doping episodes which have occured in Pakistan cricket in the past few years.
#4 Abdur Rehman (Pakistan)
The 2012 county cricket season in England witnessed a doping controversy involving Pakistani left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman. Playing for Somerset, Rehman failed a dope test just after the second day of his first 4-day match for his county as he tested positive for cannabis.
This led to the England Cricket Board handing the cricketer a ban of 12 weeks from the game. Prior to this incident, Abdur Rehman had been one of the stars of the season for Somerset. Rehman considered it to be an error of judgment on his part which would cost him dearly and serve as a lesson for other cricketers too, even as he apologised to everyone for his misdeed.
#3 Upul Tharanga (Sri Lanka)
Sri Lankan opening batsman Upul Tharanga tested positive for the use of a banned substance during the 2011 World Cup. This prompted the Sri Lankan cricket board not to include him in the team for a tour to England as the batsman pleaded guilty to the offence.
A couple of months later, a disciplinary panel appointed by the ICC decided to impose a ban on Tharanga. However, it was a reduced one for 3 months only as they concluded that the drug had not been taken for performance enhancement but as an ingredient in a herbal remedy.
Upul Tharanga was quick to apologise to fans and fellow cricketers alike in the media for his actions and promised to be more vigilant in the future.
#2 Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan)
Shoaib Akhtar was one of controversy’s favourite children throughout his cricketing career. In 2006, he along with Mohammad Asif, another controversial character, failed a dope test after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid named nandrolone.
On the eve of Pakistan’s first match in the 2006 Champions Trophy, both bowlers were pulled out of the squad. While Akhtar bore most of the brunt after he was handed a 2-year ban, Asif too suffered a 12-month ban.
Fortunately for the duo, though, a complete turn of events a month later saw their appeals against the bans being reviewed successfully leading to their acquittal and the revoking of their bans.
#1 Shane Warne (Australia)
In what came as a rude shock to the cricketing fraternity, legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne tested positive for a banned diuretic just prior the start of the 2003 ICC World Cup. The Aussie revealed the result of his test to the media an hour before Australia’s first encounter against Pakistan.
A devastated Warne not only had to return home to Australia immediately, but also suffered a 12-month ban from international cricket at the hands of the Australian Cricket Board’s anti-doping committee. Although the leggie had earlier wanted to appeal against the ban citing that he consumed the drug unintentionally, he eventually decided against it.