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Australia tighten anti-doping policy

Cricket Australia decided on Sunday that Shane Warne and any other player serving a drug ban would be prevented from training with the state and national squads.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2003 13:47 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

Cricket Australia (CA) decided on Sunday that Shane Warne and any other player serving a drug ban would be prevented from training with the state and national squads.

The decision came two days after Warne, Australia's leading wicket-taker, announced he would train privately and not seek to be involved with the national squad during his 12-month suspension which ends next February.

"In the light of legal opinions from a number of sources, we have reviewed our interpretation of that part of our (anti-doping) policy which says that suspended players should not receive assistance," CA chairman Bob Merriman said in a statement.

"Our previous view had been that attending training, particularly to give help to members of the team, was consistent with both the wording and intention of our policy.

"However, on consideration of argument that attending is a form of assistance, we have reviewed and agreed we should take a broad rather than narrow interpretation of the wording of the policy.

"As such, directors have resolved that players suspended under the anti-doping policy should not attend training with the national, state or territory or affiliated club teams, and should not train with any Cricket Australia-contracted players.

"In the case of Shane Warne, we note that he has already volunteered to not attend training. But the directors believed there was still a principle that needed addressing -- hence the resolution made at the board meeting."

CA is continuing to examine a closer alignment with World Anti Doping Authority (WADA) policy, Merriman added.

WADA chairman Dick Pound had described a bid by the Australian Cricketers' Association in July to allow Warne, 33, to train with the national team during his ban as "against the spirit of the game".

Warne, the second highest wicket-taker in tests with 491 victims, was banned for 12 months after testing positive for diuretics in February, missing Australia's World Cup campaign.

Australia's Federal Government threatened on Wednesday to withdraw development funding to Cricket Australia (CA) if it allowed the leg spinner to train with the national squad during his ban.

The controversial Warne trained with Victoria in Melbourne earlier last week in a blaze of publicity.

First Published: Aug 25, 2003 13:47 IST