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Thursday 04, May 2017

  Doping Cases Threaten International Cricket

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Richard Ings, the former head of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, has slammed the “inconsistent” testing procedures of cricket in an interview with the New York Times.

The anti-doping expert lifted the lid on the growing problem faced by international cricket in the recent past in the game’s shortest format.

The sport has received a huge shot in the arm with the evolution of T20 cricket. However, some experts are of the view that the pressure of faster-paced game play could soon bring a drug issue of gigantic proportions into the game.

Recently, West Indian T20 specialist and Big Bash star Andre Russell was given a ban for a breach in the rules. Russell was banned from playing professional cricket both internationally and domestically until late January 2018. In 2015, the 28-year-old all-rounder failed to file his whereabouts on three separate occasions, an offence equal to failing a drug test under Anti-Doping Agency guidelines. However, the West Indian T20 specialist played on for 11 months, a period in which he helped the West Indies win the World Twenty20 tournament, before he was finally suspended.

In the past, Shane Warne was caught in one of cricket’s most publicized drug offences in 2003 after he was caught with Moduretic, a prescription drug banned by the International Cricket Council as it can mask the presence of anabolic androgenic steroids. The bowler tearfully admitted to using the diuretic and was banned for a year. Warne went on to make a return to international cricket in early 2004 to complete one of the greatest careers under the baggy green.

Afghanistan T20 powerhouse Mohammad Shahzad tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance, before being suspended. The wicketkeeper-batsman from Afghanistan is yet to receive the full outcome of his disciplinary hearing.

Ings remarked cricket is a high-risk sport for the use of performance enhancing drugs. The e former head of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority also commented that he would rate the risk of doping in cricket as high and the quality of the sport’s coordinated global anti-doping efforts as poor. Ings also said that risk is a function of motive and opportunity and added motive in cricket exists because selections are highly competitive, contracts involve massive sums of money and injuries are common.

Presently, it seems that the ICC just could not monitor anti-doping efforts in cricket with the number of domestic T20 leagues growing. The Council conducts out-of-competition testing on cricketers who have played international matches in the previous two years but players who have not played international cricket in this period, or have retired from the international game, are not subject to testing by the world governing body of cricket. Drug testing depends on national governing bodies and anti-doping authorities for these cricketers. There are inconsistent standards of testing across the different leagues among all 10 full-member countries.

In England, only 193 drug tests were conducted on professional male or female cricketers in the 12-month period that ended in March.

Paul Dimeo, an expert on doping in sport from the University of Stirling, said it seems a low number and not much of deterrence. Dimeo also said it also makes it too hard to ascertain if there is a risk of doping behaviors occurring.

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Saturday 11, Mar 2017

  Andre Russell May Receive Extended Ban

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West Indies cricket all-rounder Andre Russell faces the prospect of receiving an extension on his doping ban to two years. This was after an appeal was made by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) over the original sanction.

A doping ban of one year was handed out to Russell in January after he was found guilty of breaking anti-doping whereabouts regulations three times in a 12-month period which, under the code, classed as a failed test. Presently, the ban on Russell runs until January 30, 2018.

JADCO chief executive Carey Brown remarked that an appeal has been filed by his organization with Jamaica’s five-member anti-doping Appeals Tribunal.

Russell, who has played for the Sydney Thunder in the last two editions of the KFC Big Bash League, has played across different Twenty-Twenty cricket format. Sydney Thunder director of cricket Mike Hussey said the star West Indian cricketer had “been to hell and back” dealing with the anti-doping charge and recent injury issues. Hussey also said he had been going through a really tough time of late with all the ‘whereabouts’ saga going on and he’s been waiting to hear the finding of that hearing. Hussey added hopefully get this saga over and behind him, he gets cleared and he can get on living his life and getting back to really enjoying his cricket again. The Sydney Thunder director of cricket also commented that Russell had gone through a really tough time and he just wants him to get better and get his life back on track.

Russell, who plays for the West Indies internationally and for Jamaica in West Indian domestic cricket, bats predominantly in the middle order for the West Indies. The fast bowling all rounder made his Test cricket debut against Sri Lanka in November 2010 and made his ODI debut in the 2011 Cricket World Cup match against Ireland at Mohali.

Russell has received support from different quarters. The cricketer, who also plays for the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders, received the support of the Team CEO Venky Mysore said the team has decided to retain the all-rounder in this auction despite him missing out on this edition of the tournament.

The team could have easily released the cricketer and went into the recently-concluded auction with an increased purse, but it decided against it and retained Russell. The CEO of Knight Riders said it is unfortunate that Russell has received a sanction for what he would call an administrative error. Kolkata Knight Riders have bought good replacements for him with the likes of Chris Woakes, Trent Boult, and Nathan Coulter-Nile signing for them in the auction.

Kolkata Knight Riders’ top-order batsman Manish Pandey also praised Russell. Pandey remarked Russell has played a big role in some of the games and added he had been the match-winner for us for a long time and his absence would be a bit of worry for us. Pandey, who won the IPL-2014 for KKR, also said we have players who may not be better than him but have similar abilities and talent replacing him and also commented that it will be a good tournament and mix of players.

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Saturday 05, Mar 2016

  Andre Russell Set For World T20 Despite Doping Violation

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West Indies cricketer Andre Dwayne Russell is all set to play in the World Twenty20 International cricket tournament to be held in India from 8 March to 3 April 2016.

On Friday, the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission said Andre Russell would not be suspended pending a hearing into his “anti-doping whereabouts” rule violation. JADCO said the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission has referred the matter regarding Andre Russell to the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, according to a statement by JADCO executive director Carey Brown. It was also added by Brown that the Commission is awaiting a date for the hearing and Andre Russell has not been provisionally suspended.

The 27-year-old all-rounder was named in the West Indies squad for the World Twenty20 and his place in the team was in doubt ever since news emerged that he has missed three doping tests within a period of 12 months and could possibly face a ban of two years from cricket if found guilty.

Last month, Russell played a critical role to help Islamabad United win the Pakistan Super league. He was named man of the tournament in the recently-concluded Pakistan Super league. The Jamaican cricketer also plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and is a part of the Sydney Thunder in the Australian Big Bash League. Russell, a fast bowling all rounder, made his Test cricket debut in November 2010 against Sri Lanka and made his ODI debut in the 2011 Cricket World Cup match at Mohali against Ireland.

Russell has already played 188 T20s and gathered 158 wickets with his lively seamers and 2,669 runs with his audacious right-hand batting. A brilliant fielder, Russell has made his name in all the major T20 domestic leagues including the Australian Big Bash, Caribbean Premier League, South African Ram Slam, Bangladesh Premier League, Indian Premier League, and the Pakistan Super League.

Russell has the distinction of being the first bowler to take 4 wickets in 4 successive deliveries. He achieved this distinction in a match against India A on September 21, 2013 when he took the wickets of Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Naman Ojha, and Yusuf Pathan.

A limited specialist for West Indies, Russell has played 35 T20 Internationals and 51 One-Day Internationals. One of the most sought-after players on the global Twenty20 (T20) circuit in recent years, Russell was recently named as one of its global brand ambassadors by Japanese automaker Nissan. He joined the likes of South African speedsters Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada, Indian batting star Rohit Sharma, and New Zealand women’s captain Suzie Bates who were also appointed as Nissan ambassadors.

Nissan’s corporate vice-president and global head of marketing and brand strategy, Roel de Vries, had remarked Nissan is absolutely delighted to welcome this illustrious line-up to the Nissan team as ambassadors. Vries added these players as genuine performers in the shorter form of the game consistently deliver on the big stage and we look forward to working together to bring cricketing excitement to fans worldwide, starting with the ICC World T20.

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