Famous Cricketers Found Guilty of Doping

by Sameer Arshad | Posted on Friday, August 8th, 2014 | 1

Famous Cricketers Found Guilty of Doping

History of doping in sports goes way back to the start of 19th century. Though, the definition of doping according to World Anti Doping Agency is very elaborate, the general and common understanding of doping in sport is the usage of performance enhancing drugs for achieving glory in the game. WADA has maintained a prohibition list forbidding the players and athletes from using banned drugs and a comprehensive dope test system has been initialized but despite the presence of extremely strict rules and awareness campaigns, every year players from different sports get into the headlines on the pretext of using banned drugs. Once found guilty of cheating, players get stripped off their achievements but even this step can’t keep many players from using such drugs. Many analysts blame the sports regulating agencies, some blame the increased expectations from fans but at the end of the day no explanation can rationalize the usage of such drugs as their usage is contrary to the spirit of the sports and obliterates the equal playing field.

The all time legends like the cycling star Lance Armstrong and footballer Diago Maradona have had their names muddled in doping.

Before major sporting events like World Cups, the general trend these days is that the players are randomly called for dope test and failing the test means they are out of the event even before the start of the event. Like all other sports ,cricketers have also had their share of infamy as a bunch of cricketers have been tested positive with the performance enhancing drugs and many of them were banned just before the start of cricket world cup or Champions Trophy. With the next Cricket World Cup becoming ever closer we hope that no such event happens this time around. But before that we would tell you about five of those cricketers who were suspended or banned for doping at some part of their career and you would be surprised to see names of some of the legends of the so called Gentleman’s game, in our list.

1. Ian Botham

Yes..You read it right! Sir Ian Botham was banned for smoking Cannabis in 1989.The charges initially denied by Botham were later accepted by him in a TV interview. Ian Botham was the all time great legendary star performer of England Cricket team. He remained the Test captain of England Cricket team. He served a mere 63 day ban and joined the team ever more brilliantly, though his absence costed England series against India and New Zealand. In 12 balls after his comeback, he broke Dennis Lillee’s Most Test Wicket’s record.

2. Shane Warne

Ok. You won’t have a bigger cricketing name, than of Shane Warne, on any list .Man of the match in the Semi Final and Final of 1999 World Cup, in which Australia came out as victorious; Shane Warne was sent home on the eve of Australia’s first match against Pakistan in 2004’s World Cup in South Africa on the pretext of positive dope test. In a career trodden with glory and controversies, there couldn’t have been a day more humiliating than that day and the controversy more embarrassing than doping. Warne explained that his mother had given him the medicine which was the reason behind him being tested with performance enhancing drugs and that it was weight reducing medicine for making him look good in front of the cameras. This excuse didn’t go well with Cricket Australia and Warne was banned from playing International cricket for a year and returned to cricket in 2004 and remained an integral member of Australia’s team till his retirement in 2007.

3. Stephen Fleming

The left handed Kiwi Opener was a delight to watch when he went after the fast bowlers but it’s a pity that even his name is on this list. Fleming didn’t take drugs for boosting his performance but nevertheless he was found guilty for using Marijuana in 1993-94 along with few other Kiwi cricketers. Danny Morrison reported the incident to team management and Fleming was fined just 175 $ and was banned for a brief while.

4. Shoaib Akhtar.

Steroids and other performance boosting drugs are often used for quick recovery from injuries so fast bowlers are most vulnerable of falling prey to the seduction of these drugs. The fastest bowler on earth, Shoaib Akhtar was tested positive for drugs prior to 2006 ICC Champions Trophy in India and was sent home even before the event could start. He was banned for 2 years but later the ban was reverted after an appeal. Throughout the proceedings of the case, Akhtar pleaded his innocence .His ousting from the tournament, severly damaged Pakistan’s chances in the tournament.

5. Upal Tharanga

Among the recent doping cases the most notable is of SriLankan opener, Upal Tharanga who was tested positive for using banned substances in 2011‘s Cricket World cup. He was banned for three months.

6. Muhammad Asif.

The next Glen McGrath, they called him. He lacked speed but with an ability to swing the ball both ways, without a slight change in action, Asif was unplayable with new ball. His brief career, which apparently is over now, was full of outstanding performances and controversies off the pitch. Before the start of ICC Champions Trophy in 2006, along with Shoaib AKhtar ,Muhammad Asif was also found guilty of using illicit substances and was banned for a year which was later lifted after an appeal launched by him. But for how long can a fish remain out of water? Asif was again apprehended at Dubai’s International Airport while coming home after participating the first IPL season, and the reason for his arrest was the presence of drugs in his wallet. Later he was deported from Dubai and couldn’t participate in any of the later Pakistani series staged in Dubai.

These were few notable cricketers who were tested positive in dope test. There are many other players as well who are involved in disrespecting the game. To avoid such incidents in the 2015 World Cup in Australia, ICC needs to apply strict rules and longer punishments for players involved in drugs so they don’t even think of cheating with the followers of the game in future.

About the Author

Formula one fan, blogger, designer and entrepreneur. Knows thing or two about a thing a two of sports, tweak codes, make cool infographs.

  • Sayandeep Das

    are drug tests more lenient on cricketers than on other sports e.g. athletics?

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