Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Hall of Infame !!!

The recent furor about the Indian players not signing the WADA ( World Anti Doping Agency) has compelled us to rethink about the drug scandals in the past, and how WADA is taking preventive measures to curb the practice of taking drugs. However, this does not mean I support any one particular party in this speculation.

Let's take a look back at some of the incidents in the past where cricketers were found guilty of taking drugs for performance enhancement.

In 2003, just when the World Cup was about to start the Legendary leg spinner Shane Warne was sent home from South Africa after the drug test conducted by Cricket Australia. The drug that Warne used is said to be used to mask the presence of other drugs.

In 2008, the Indian Premier League revealed that a player had tested positive for banned substances during the first edition of the tournament and on July 14, it was revealed that the player in question was Asif.On February 11, 2009, the IPL confirmed that Asif had tested positive for steroids and subsequently imposed a one year ban on him, ending on September 21, 2009. Shortly before the IPL's announcement, Asif was released of his contract by the Delhi DareDevils.

Mohammad Asif's teammate Shoaib Akhtar has been also caught guilty of taking drugs umpteen number of times. A former PCB spokesperson had always suspected Shoaib for doping due to his reluctance towards drug test.

If we go on counting such occurences in the history of Cricket, we would have number of them.
  • Legendary England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham was suspended briefly in 1986 for smoking cannabis.
  • Asim Butt played three matches in the 2005 season for Scotland, taking three wickets but being expensive, before he tested positive for ecstasy during a match with Somerset.
  • Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming survived controversy in 1995 when he was caught and admitted to smoking marijuana with teammates Matthew Hart and Dion Nash while on the tour to South Africa at their hotel. Nash and Hart were suspended following the incident.
  • In May 2005, former England all-rounder Dermot Reeve revealed that he was addicted to cocaine, and that he had commentated on a Test match the previous year under the influence of the drug. Reeve also admitted to using Marijuana whilst he was an active player for Warwickshire but only out of season.
The above incidents are a few of the incidents which can malign the spirit of cricket. But it certainly does not mean all cricketers undergo such (mal)practices. The fact that whether our Indian cricketers should sign the WADA contract or not, is left to them and WADA. As genuine Cricket fans, all we want to see is PURE cricket.

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