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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Warne returns home to save career

February 12, 2003 19:35 IST

A devastated Shane Warne returned to Australia on Wednesday determined to salvage his cricketing career after he tested positive for a banned substance and was forced to withdraw from the World Cup.

"I am hopeful of returning to South Africa to play a part in the World Cup," Warne told reporters at Melbourne airport.

Australia's leading wicket-taker in both forms of the game arrived at his hometown at 0910GMT (2010 local time) where he came face to face with newspaper headlines like "Is This The End?" and "Shane's career in turmoil over drug allegations".

Warne said on Tuesday he had mistakenly taken a banned diuretic the day before a one-day international against England in Sydney on January 23.

The Australian media criticised the controversial player, saying: "Ignorance and stupidity won't hold water".

The 33-year-old took two hours on Wednesday to pass through customs before he held a news conference.

"I am limited in what I can say tonight because it is important I don't compromise the formal hearing that is coming up," Warne read from a prepared statement.

"I am pretty tired and still trying to come to terms with what has happened. I still feel a bit in shock and devastated at the news.

"Obviously I would prefer to be in South Africa congratulating Andrew Symonds on a wonderful innings and the rest of the boys on the great start to the World Cup.

"While my best wishes are with the team and I wish I was there, being my last one-day international (tournament) for Australia, I felt it was important to address these issues personally."

Warne is expected to appear before the Australian Cricket Board's Anti-Doping Committee next week to explain why he took the diuretic and argue mitigating circumstances.

"We have to pay attention to due process. We would hope to schedule the hearing sometime next week," ACB spokesman Peter Young told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

If Warne is found guilty of doping, he could face a two-year ban under ACB rules, a penalty that would probably end his brilliant career. But the ACB said the penalty could be reduced based on evidence by the anti-doping committee's medical adviser.

The leg spinner shocked the cricketing world on Tuesday when he held a news conference in Johannesburg, only an hour before his team began their World Cup defence, to announce he had tested positive for a banned substance.

The ACB has said the positive test is "preliminary and subject to confirmation", and that if Warne is cleared of doping it will seek his reinstatement to the Australian World Cup squad.


The ACB said the anti-doping hearing in Melbourne would be held once the results of a second drug test, or B sample, were received. The result of the B sample is expected on Friday.

Warne said he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs and did not condone their use.

Warne dislocated his shoulder on December 15 and was back playing for Australia on January 23 in the game against England.

"I can confirm that the fluid tablet I took before appearing to announce my retirement from one-day cricket was given to me by my mum," Warne said.

"Contrary to speculation, taking it had nothing to do with the treatment for my shoulder injury or for masking any banned substance.

"I did not give it another thought until contacted by the Australian Sports Drug Agency this week."

Diuretics are often used to help weight loss or as a masking agent for other drugs.

Warne was expected to play a major role in the World Cup before retiring from one-dayers to concentrate on test cricket. He has lost around 13 kilogrammes (29 pounds) in the past year as part of a fitness regime.

Warne was man of the match in Australia's 1999 World Cup final win over Pakistan. He has taken 291 one-day international wickets (sixth on the all-time list) and 491 test victims (second).

Former Australia test players Keith Stackpole and Jeff Thomson said Warne had acted foolishly.

"Unfortunately he has done a lot of dumb things," Stackpole told ABC Radio on Wednesday. Thomson said: "Warney ... does silly things. This is just a silly thing."

© 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: 1

Sub: Shane

it's sad that Warne had dismissed this way, but what happened had happened. so, palyers must be care ful in future.

Posted by arup saha


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