Afghanistan’s popular wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad will be eligible to return to cricket as early as next month, after a twelve-month suspension, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Thursday.
The 29-year-old underwent an out-of-competition test in Dubai in January this year and his sample was found to contain clenbuterol, classified as a non-specified substance under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List.
Clenbuterol, used by sufferers of breathing disorders such as asthma, is banned in and out-of-competition.
Shahzad pleaded guilty to the violation and the ICC accepted he had “inadvertently ingested the substance as a contaminant of a weight loss product he was taking, Hydroxycut”, the ICC said in a statement.
The ban has been backdated to his sample collection on Jan 17, 2017 and he can return to cricket on Jan 17, 2018.
“Today’s announcement reinforces the ICC’s zero-tolerance approach to doping, and reminds all international cricketers that they remain personally responsible for ensuring that anything they eat, drink or put into their bodies does not result in an anti-doping rule violation,” said ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice.
“It further serves as a reminder to all international cricketers of the dangers and risks associated with taking supplements. Before thinking about taking a supplement, cricketers should weigh up the risks and dangers of doing so and should fully research the supplement in question so they can make an informed decision,” he added.