The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced that Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been suspended from all cricket-related activities for twelve months after pleading guilty to breaching Article 2.1 of the ICC Anti-Doping Code.
Mr Shahzad had provided a urine sample as part of the ICC’s out-of-competition testing programme in Dubai, UAE, on 17 January 2017.
His sample was subsequently tested and found to contain clenbuterol. Clenbuterol is classified as a non-Specified Substance under WADA’s Prohibited List and is prohibited both in-competition and out-of-competition.
Mr Shahzad admitted the violation and a twelve-month suspension has been imposed, backdated to 17 January 2017, the date of his sample collection. Mr Shahzad will, therefore, be eligible to return to cricket on 17 January 2018.
In making the decision, the ICC accepted that Mr Shahzad had inadvertently ingested the prohibited substance, as a contaminant of a weight loss product he was taking, Hydroxycut.
Mr Shahzad was able to satisfy the ICC through evidence and submissions prepared on his behalf that he had no intention to enhance his sporting performance through the use of prohibited substances or to mask the use of another performance enhancing substance and had, instead, inadvertently ingested the prohibited substance after taking Hyrdoxycut supplements which were contaminated with Clenbuterol.
However, Mr Shahzad has accepted that he had failed to satisfy the high levels of personal responsibility incumbent upon him as an international cricketer subject to anti-doping rules.
“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” continued Mr Allardice.