x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Opener Tharanga can resume in August after serving a drug ban

The Sri Lanka player suspended from all cricket for testing positive during 50-over cricket World Cup in March.

Upul Tharanga, the Sri Lanka batsman, was banned from all cricket for three months after failing a drugs test at the World Cup in March, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Friday.

Tharanga, 26, not selected for the ongoing tour of England because of the charge, pleaded guilty after claiming the banned substance he took was in a herbal remedy. An ICC panel accepted he had not taken the remedy with the aim of enhancing his performance but still banned him for three months, back-dated from May.

Tharanga, provided a urine sample as part of the ICC's random in-competition testing programme after the conclusion of the World Cup 2011 semi-final between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, held in Colombo on March 29.

An independent anti-doping tribunal, comprising lawyer Tim Kerr, Dr Anik Sax and Professor Peter Sever accepted Tharanga's explanation he had taken the remedy to ease discomfort caused by a shoulder injury.

However, a statement issued from the ICC's Dubai headquarters yesterday, said Tharanga had "failed to satisfy the high levels of personal responsibility implicit upon him as an international cricketer subject to anti-doping rules".

The ICC statement re-iterated the global governing body's zero-tolerance approach to doping and warned all international players they remain "personally responsible for ensuring that anything they eat, drink or put into their bodies (including any medical treatment they receive) does not give rise to an anti-doping rule violation".

Tharanga, a member of the Sri Lanka side beaten by India in the World Cup final in Mumbai in April, can resume playing cricket on August 9.