Australian Cricket Board Comment on Shane Warne Suspension

Cricket News 22/02/03

ACB Comment on Warne Drug SuspensionThe Australian Cricket Board (ACB) Anti-Doping Committee today suspended Australian international cricketer Shane Warne from all cricket played under the auspices of the ACB and his State association for 12 months, effective from 10 February, 2003.

The sanctions which the Committee applied extend to:

  • Banning the person from selection to represent Australia in any international competition;
  • Banning the person from competing in any events and competitions conducted under the jurisdiction or the auspices of the ACB or any member;
  • Making the person ineligible to receive direct or indirect funding or assistance from the ACB or any member;
  • Banning the person from holding or continuing to hold any position with the ACB or any member (including as an officer or employee); and
  • Requiring that the person remain on the Australian Sports Drug Agency's register of athletes for the purpose of out-of-competition testing

Warne, who tested positive for diuretics - hydrochlorothiazide and amiloride - appeared before the three-member Committee of Justice Glen Williams of the Queensland Court of Appeal, Dr Susan White, a member of the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory (ASDA) Committee, and former Australian international cricketer and national selector, Mr Peter Taylor.

Warne was charged with using a prohibited method under the ACB's Anti-Doping Policy after advising the ACB that a sample he provided to the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) in Sydney on 22 January 2003 had tested positive for diuretics.

The ACB Anti-Doping Committee found that there were no exceptional circumstances which would justify the dismissal of the charge.

The Committee confirmed that the mere presence of diuretics in the sample constituted use of a prohibited method under the Anti-Doping Policy.

The Committee considered evidence from ACB Anti-Doping Medical Adviser Dr Peter Harcourt when making its decision on a penalty, including that there had been full co-operation from Warne, that there was no evidence of anabolic steroids, and there was no evidence that there would be a benefit from taking steroids in the circumstances. He also gave evidence that there was no advantage from taking the diuretic. He said there was possibly a disadvantage from taking the diuretic.

The full reasons for the decision will be published at a later date.

During the eight-hour hearing, the Committee heard evidence from Warne, his mother, Mrs Brigitte Warne, Anti-Doping Medical Adviser Dr Peter Harcourt, ACB Medical Officer Dr Trefor James, Warne's treating physician Dr Greg Hoy, the Director of the drug testing laboratory Dr Ray Kazlauskas and ASDA Education Officer Mr Tim Burke.

The committee also received witness statements from team physiotherapist Mr Errol Alcott, team fitness adviser Mr Jock Campbell and ACB General Manager Legal and Business Affairs Mr Andrew Twaits.

ACB Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said Warne had never disputed taking the diuretics.

"We hope that the extraordinary publicity about this unfortunate incident at least helps reinforce to all cricketers that doping practices are unacceptable, and that athletes should always check before taking any medication," Said Mr Sutherland.

"As stated in our policy, our position on doping is that we condemn the use of performance enhancing drugs and doping practices in cricket.

"The only legitimate use of drugs in sport is under the supervision of a physician for a clinically justified purpose."

Mr Sutherland said the ACB would consider a replacement for Shane Warne in its World Cup squad in the next day or so to ensure there is a full 15-man squad as soon as possible.

The ACB will also consider any ramifications for Mr Warne's ACB contract as soon as possible.

Statement From Shane Warne:

"First of all I'd like to say that I am absolutely devastated and very upset at the committee's decision suspending me for 12 months and I will appeal.

I feel that I am a victim of the anti-doping hysteria. I also want to repeat: I have never taken any performance enhancing drugs and I never will.

My shoulder comeback was exactly as my surgeon and physio predicted.

I am proud of the dedication I have shown in my rehabilitation and fitness regime over the past 12 months.

The tablet I took on the 21st of January was a fluid tablet.

I did not know it as a diuretic, I knew it as a fluid tablet.

I feel that a 12 months' suspension is very harsh penalty for not checking what I took with anyone.

I have never blamed my mum, I thought it was important to clarify where the tablet came from.

It had nothing to do with cricket or trying to mask anything. It had to do with appearance.

Playing for Australia and Victoria is my love and I would never knowingly put that in jeopardy. I love playing cricket too much.

To the Australian team, you don't need me to win the World Cup.

You have the talent, the passion and the desire to bring the Cup back to all of us here in Australia.

In finishing, I'd like to say a big thank you to my family and my teammates and to all my friends who have sent me messages and supported me in this very difficult time.

Once again could you please respect the privacy of my family and especially my children."

Warne Suspended by Anti-Doping Committee

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