Drugs measures working well

The International Cricket Council insists drugs-testing at the Champions Trophy has been a success.

The issue of players taking performance-enhancing drugs has been in the spotlight since Pakistan pace bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif tested positive for nandrolone before the current tournament started.

The ICC has been performing drugs tests since 2002 but signed up to the World Anti-Doping Agency code only in July this year.

The competition in India is the first under the ICC’s auspices since making that commitment but, with testing still in its infancy on the sub-continent, carrying out tests has proved problematic.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said: “The current Champions Trophy has presented us with some challenging issues.

“These issues are logistical ones and are understandable given no infrastructure or culture of drug-testing exists currently in India, and when these issues have been raised with us we have worked hard to ensure they have been dealt with.

Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar tested positive for the steroid nandrolone

“I will meet with WADA officials and also speak to WADA director general David Howman to see if they have any additional concerns we may not be aware of.

“I would stress we do not believe any of the issues raised have affected the integrity of the testing process.”

Shoaib and Asif tested positive as a result of drugs samples taken by the Pakistan Cricket Board, and Speed was keen to underline the otherwise clean record of international cricketers.

“We are proud that since we began testing in 2002 no player has tested positive for a banned substance at an ICC tournament and we are equally proud to have signed up to the WADA code in July of this year,” he added.

“We are committed to ensuring cricket retains a zero tolerance attitude to drug-use and also committed to ensuring that those ICC full members not currently testing their players outside of ICC tournaments start that process as soon as possible.

“We enjoy a positive relationship with WADA and look forward to working with it towards the goals we all share, for sport to be drug-free.”

WADA has undertaken testing at three matches in the Champions Trophy – New Zealand’s games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and India’s meeting with Australia.

Two players from each side were selected at random, with the samples sent to Malaysia for analysis.

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