KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – West Indies Twenty20 star, Andre Russell, was yesterday ruled out of several major upcoming global tournaments after being slapped with a 12-month ban for an anti-doping
The 28-year-old globetrotting all-rounder missed three drugs tests back in 2015 after failing to report his whereabouts, and was penalized by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission.
He had faced up to a two-year ban if found guilty of the violation but will now sit out the game until next January under the 12-month sanction which takes immediate effect.
“What the panel was required to do was look at the evidence given and to find whether the complainant established the requisite standard of proof, and that standard of proof is that it must be to the comfortable satisfaction of the tribunal that there was a first filing failure,” chairman Hugh Faulkner said afterward.
“And we found from the evidence that there was a first filing failure for the period January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015.”
He continued: “Again, using the standard of proof that we had enunciated, again to the comfortable satisfaction of the tribunal, we found that there was a filing failure – a failure to find whereabouts information – for the period 1st July 2015 to 30th September 2015, and then the third filing failure would have been for 1st July 2015 to 30th September 2015 but specifically, failure to provide the explanation required by the anti-doping rules for why you are late with the whereabouts filing.
“Now the rules require that they must be three missed tests and that three missed tests happen within a 12-month period and we found that was the case.
“As a result, the panel had no option but to apply a sanction. We looked at all the circumstances of the case, we looked at the evidence, looked at previous cases – precedents – and we came up with a one-year sanction.”
Russell has played one Test, 51 One-Day Internationals and 43 T20s for West Indies, and was part of the squad which won an unprecedented second T20 World Cup in India last April.
However, it has been on the global T20 circuit where he has made his name as an athletic fielder, a dashing lower order batsman and a lively seamer.
In particular, he will miss the cash-rich Indian Premier League where he is contracted to Kolkata Knight Riders and for whom he is a key player
KKR’s chief executive Venky Mysore described Russell’s ban as a “big loss”.
Russell also features for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League in Australia, Sylhet Royals in the Bangladesh Premier league, Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League and Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League.
The hearing to determine Russell’s fate wrapped up last September and he continued to play while awaiting the judgement to be handed down.
Faulkner said the panel had opted not to make the dates of the ban retroactive and had also felt under the circumstances, that only a one-year ban was necessary.
“In some instances, they (bans) commence on earlier dates before the decision and in this instance, bearing in mind all the circumstances, we believe the commencement date should be at the date of the decision,” Faulkner pointed out.
He added: “In our decision, we cited the circumstances, we cited the cases and explained therein … our decision [not to apply] the maximum [ban].”
Earlier this month, Russell was forced out of the Big Bash with a hamstring injury.
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