Troubled New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder was handed a six-month ban Tuesday after testing positive for outlawed substances contained in a weight-loss supplement, the New Zealand Sports Tribunal said.
The disciplinary body said Ryder, who has been in self-imposed exile from international cricket since February 2012, tested positive after a domestic match in March this year.
It said Ryder’s sample showed traces of the stimulants PBA and DEBEA, and the batsman admitted he took two supplement tablets in the days before the test. A downbeat Ryder said he had to accept the consequences of his actions.
“I’m devastated by this situation,” he said in a statement. “I’ve never taken drugs, to be in this situation distresses me greatly. “I did take steps to check the supplement, but ultimately it was my responsibility and I accept that.”
The disciplinary body did not dispute Ryder’s argument that he was not aware the over-the-counter product contained banned substances, and that he took it because he was struggling with his weight, not to enhance on-field performance.
However, it said he did not check with authorities whether the supplement was legal, even though the label warned it might contain substances outlawed by some organisations.
Instead, Ryder and his trainer did their own research on the Internet and concluded it was safe. The tribunal said that, as a professional athlete, Ryder was obliged to be more cautious before taking a potentially illegal supplement.