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ICC to introduce random dope testing

December 30, 2008 12:21 IST

Cricketers can be tested out of competition for the first time under a new anti-doping code announced on Monday by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The rules, revised after amendments to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code and unanimously approved by the ICC Board, will come into effect from January 1.

Until now, dope tests have been conducted only in ICC events such as the World Cup. The sport's governing body began testing at its events in 2002 and became a WADA signatory two years ago.

"Critically, it also means that international cricketers must be available for testing at any time, any day of the year, whether it is at ICC events, bilateral series or even out of competition," the ICC said in a statement on Monday.

All full ICC members and the top six associates have already agreed to have WADA-compliant codes by July 1.


The ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat is confident the code would help tighten anti-doping in the sport although cricket is not considered by most observers to have a major drugs problem.

"This code means it has just become even harder for drug cheats to get away with doping practices and it is part of our continued battle to ensure fair competition for all," he said.

Although no player has tested positive in ICC events, there have been several high profile cases involving cricketers.

Retired Australian spinner Shane Warne was withdrawn from the 2003 World Cup in South Africa after testing positive for a diuretic in a domestic check in the build-up to the event.

Pakistan fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in 2006 in out-of-competition tests conducted by the Pakistan board before the ICC Champions Trophy in India.

They were initially banned for two years but the suspension was overturned by the board's anti-doping appeals committee, which said the pair had argued they had taken supplements in the belief they did not contain prohibited substances.

The Pakistan board suspended Asif from all cricket in August after he tested positive in a dope test carried out during the Twenty20 Indian Premier League in June. He is due to face a hearing on January 24.

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