Warne's test sample not to be classified until hearing

Published: Thursday, February 13, 2003, 0:08 [IST]
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Melbourne: The diuretic Shane Warne tested positive to would not be classified until the leg spinner's anti-doping hearing, the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) said on Wednesday. Under the ACB's drugs policy, Warne's positive test could fall into two categories with two different penalties. Depending on his motives for taking the diuretics Warne could face either a maximum three-month suspension or a two-year ban, the latter almost certainly ending his international career.

ACB public affairs general manager Peter Young said it was too early to determine how the positive test would be classified. "That's an issue for the anti-doping hearing," he said. Young said a date for the hearing had yet to be set, although it could be as early as Friday. Warne was scheduled to arrive home late on Wednesday. Warne's cricketing future rests with the ACB, which developed its drug policy in conjunction with the Australian Sports Drug Agency. ASDA administers drug tests throughout the country and tailors the policies each of Australia's highest sporting bodies have adopted.

While athletes who have tested positive to banned substances must answer to their respective governing bodies, ASDA conducts testing either during competition or randomly. "Because we tailor the contracts, they can request that athletes of a certain standing such as higher-ranked athletes are tested," said ASDA spokesman Shawn Winnett on Wednesday. "That doesn't mean that lower-ranked athletes aren't tested, it just depends on the contract."

ASDA chairman Brian Sando on Wednesday said there was scant chance of Warne's 'B' sample being free of drugs. "Unfortunately for the athlete, it is very unlikely that specimen, which really is part of the original one, is going to show anything different from what the 'A' sample has shown," Sando said.

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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