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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Warne's career could be over, say newspapers

February 23, 2003 12:30 IST

Australia's newspapers said the controversial career of the nation's leading wicket-taker could be over after Shane Warne received a 12-month ban in cricket's biggest doping scandal.

The 33-year-old leg spinner was suspended by an Australian Cricket Board anti-doping committee on Saturday after testing positive to two banned diuretics contained in a fluid-reducing pill.

Warne, one of Wisden's five cricketers of the 20th century, said he had taken the pill in January for vanity reasons ahead of a televised appearance and did not realise it contained banned substances.

The Sunday Age newspaper ran a main front-page headline "End of a career?" above a photograph of a stunned Warne driving away from the Melbourne hearing. His mother Brigitte, who gave him the pill, is sitting in the back seat with her left hand over her mouth.

"With his reputation once again in tatters and his career in serious doubt, Warne vowed to appeal against the suspension," the Melbourne newspaper said.

The newspaper's sports liftout did not even carry Warne's name, but simply a full-length photograph of the moist-eyed player as he faced the media and a headline: "The dismissal."

In another article headlined: "Appeal looks futile", the newspaper said: "Shane Warne's chances of overturning a 12-month doping ban seem almost non-existent."

Columnist Greg Baum wrote: "I believe there is nothing more sinister about the Warne case than narcissism.

"...With privilege comes responsibility. Sadly, Warne seems never to have grasped this fundamental underpinning of his elevated place in the world."


Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun devoted five pages of their news section to the fall from grace of the city's biggest sporting hero and another five in the sports section which was headlined: "Warne's bitter pill."

Columnist Rod Nicholson wrote: "Now Shane may be many things in the eyes of the sporting world, but he is no Ben Johnson, who cheated to win an Olympic 100 metre gold medal thanks to steroids.

"He (Warne) smoked cigarettes after taking money to front a quit campaign; he seized a camera from a kid in New Zealand; he gyrated on the balcony at Lord's; he was involved in dealings with an illegal bookmaker; he talked dirty on the phone to an English nurse who made it world headlines and now he has a drug rap over his head."

Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath wrote in a Sunday Herald Sun column fans would not like to see such an icon of the game, Test cricket's second-leading wicket-taker, leave the game in this way.

"The biggest loser out of this drama, aside from Warney, is cricket itself and the viewing public," McGrath wrote. "I just know he will be trying to fight his way back. He is sitting on 491 wickets and can smell the 500 mark."

Warne's Victoria state coach David Hookes said: "What Shane Warne has to do now is to ensure he's not remembered as a drug cheat. Maybe he's paid the penalty of Australia being seen to be a bit lenient around the world."

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