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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Warne to appeal one-year ban

Greg Buckle | February 22, 2003 12:07 IST

Australia's leading wicket-taker Shane Warne was suspended from cricket for 12 months on Saturday after the player tested positive for a banned diuretic.

Warne immediately called himself a victim of "anti-doping hysteria" and said he plans to appeal.

The 33-year-old leg spinner appeared before an Australian Cricket Board anti-doping committee on Friday and the three-person committee took statements from seven witnesses in an eight-hour hearing before adjourning overnight.

Warne was told of the committee's decision at 11am (2400 GMT) local time on Saturday behind closed doors at the ACB's Melbourne headquarters but it was not publicly announced for another two hours.

Justice Glen Williams, who chaired the panel, made a brief statement to the media who had camped outside the building for one-and-a-half days before they were ushered in for a news conference.

"The committee found the charge proved and imposed on player Shane Keith Warne... (a ban) for the period of 12 months dated from February 10th 2003", he said.

The ban rules Warne out of the World Cup and upcoming test series against the West Indies, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, India and places him in doubt for the Sri Lanka tour planned for February 2004.

A stunned Warne spoke of his shock and his plans to contest the decision when reading a prepared statement at a news conference later in the afternoon.

"First of all I would like to say that I am absolutely devastated and very upset at the committee's decision for suspending me for 12 months," Warne said.

"I will appeal. I feel that I am a victim of anti-doping hysteria. I also want to repeat I have never taken any performance-enhancing drugs and I never will," he added.

"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-month suspension is a very harsh penalty for not checking what I took with anyone."


Earlier, ACB chief executive James Sutherland had confirmed the board's stance.

Sutherland told a news conference: "The anti-doping committee found that there were no exceptional circumstances which would justify the charge being dismissed.

"The committee confirmed the mere presence of diuretics in the sample constituted use of a prohibited method under the anti-doping policy," he added.

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

"Our position on doping is that we condemn the use of performance-enhancing drugs in cricket and doping practices in cricket," Sutherland said.

Warne's contract with the ACB will be suspended for the duration of the 12-month ban.

"It's been an unfortunate episode for everyone concerned," Sutherland said.


One of Wisden's five cricketers of the century, Warne withdrew from the World Cup in southern Africa last week after testing positive for a banned diuretic.

Australia's leading wicket-taker in tests and one-day internationals said he took a fluid-reducing tablet given to him by his mother last month without knowing it contained a banned substance.

Diuretics are banned because they can be used to mask other illegal drugs.

Warne was heavily criticised in the local media for stating his mother Brigitte gave him the fluid-reducing pill.

"I have never blamed my mum," Warne said on Saturday.

"I thought it was important to clarify where the fluid tablet came from. It had nothing to do with cricket or trying to mask anything. It had to do with appearance."

Warne is now banned from all cricket, including his England county side Hampshire, the Victoria state side and his Melbourne club St Kilda.

The spinner has taken 491 test wickets, second on the all-time tally and only 28 behind former West Indies paceman Courtney Walsh.

Warne was player of the match in Australia's World Cup final win over Pakistan in 1999 and the selectors will now name a replacement for the leg spinner in this year's 15-man squad.

The most likely replacements for the tournament, already underway, would be Queensland off spinner Nathan Hauritz or New South Wales leg spinner Stuart MacGill.

"To the Aussie team, you don't need me to win the World Cup," added Warne, dressed in a black suit with a blue tie and sporting a gold ear-ring and spiky bottle-blond hair.

"You have the talent, the passion and the desire to bring back the cup to all of us here in Australia," Warne added.

Australia have beaten Pakistan, India and Holland in their opening three matches.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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Number of User Comments: 25

Sub: ban on shane warne

it's really unfortunate to have shane warne banned for one year, he should have got the benefit of doubt, the whole cricket world gonna miss ...

Posted by sunny

Sub: Ban should be in terms of number of games

In cricket, unlike in the NBA or NFL, one year might mean 10 test matches and 50 ODIs or nothing at all. I think all ...

Posted by Sridharan Krithivasan

Sub: Warne is a Thief

You should never believe in Warne. He has blamed the tablet, but i heard that the amount of substance found in the body aws much ...

Posted by T.V.Shanker

Sub: Warne suspension

Yes, Shane Warne is a great player and we all will miss him. But sportspersons cannot afford to take the anti-doping measures lightly. It is ...

Posted by Raj

Sub: Shane Warne vs Diuretic

It is ridiculous to ban Warne for the drug used for reducing body weight and not for enhancing power to bowl fast.

Posted by Dr.N.B.Tulsani


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