Drug tests or no contracts, says UCBSA

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2001, 18:38 [IST]
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Johannesburg: South African cricketers, who refuse to contractually submit to quarterly drug tests, may find themselves without a job. The move comes in the wake of the marijuana-smoking debacle in the West Indies after the fourth Test in Antigua that South Africa won. The executive committee of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) accepted in principle the tough action that is to be ratified first by the general council at a meeting next week. If the general council approves it, all existing players may also have to renegotiate their contracts before the new season begins in September. UCBSA chief executive Gerald Majola said some legal investigations needed to be completed first before the action was implemented, adding that some issues, like taking blood and urine samples from players for testing, could infringe on their rights under the South African Constitution. UCBSA Medical Committee head Tim Noakes said urine samples did not pose a constitutional problem, but asking for blood samples did. He said while marijuana could be detected in urine samples up to two or three months later, other drugs required blood samples for testing. Players are fully entitled to refuse these additional clauses to their contracts, but the UCBSA has equal rights to refuse them a contract if they do. Meanwhile, South African Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour's spokesman Graham Abrahams denied reports that the minister had intervened in the (UCBSA) executive meeting last weekend to "sort out any bad blood between its members". Abrahams said Balfour had attended the meeting purely to acquaint himself with progress in the 2003 World Cup to be hosted by South Africa so that he could report back to the Cabinet on the issue. Earlier, there were widespread reports that some colleagues were baying for UCBSA president Percy Sonn's blood. He was charged with having kept the West Indian marijuana incident secret from other top officials of the Board until it became public almost a month later. Extras:
Gibbs, 5 others caught smoking cannibis
Pollock not worried by drugs scandal
SA players may not face criminal action
UCBSA chief slammed on marijuana issue

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