Warne~~s vanity could still save his skin: Aussie lawyer

Published: Friday, February 14, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney: Shane Warne's vanity could prove to be his best chance of escaping a career- threatening ban over his positive drugs test, a top Australian sports lawyer said on Friday. The 33-year-old leg-spin king was sensationally sent home from the World Cup this week after it emerged he had tested positive for a banned diuretic contained in a slimming pill. Australian media reported Friday that Warne took the diet pill after being badgered by his mother, who wanted her son to look good at a Sydney news conference on January 22.

And according to lawyer, Michael Rowe, Warne's desire to show off a trim figure for the cameras might just get him off the hook when he pleads his case to the Australian Cricket Board. "He could argue that he took the tablet on the insistence of his mother to aid his appearance and make himself look thinner," said Rowe, the chairman of Tennis Australia's anti-doping committee. "He's got this new image of himself as a fit sportsman and he wanted to help that a little before he made his comeback," Rowe said.

"That's got nothing to do with trying to improve his capacity to play cricket, he's already proved he can take wickets when he's carrying extra weight. "He's known for being vain, there's no doubt about that, and I suppose it would be ironic if that was what saved him." Both 'The Australian' national newspaper and Sydney's 'Daily Telegraph' reported on Friday that Warne took the diet pill after being nagged by his mother Brigitte.

"Mrs Warne began badgering Warne to take one of her 'fluid tablets' so he would look nice at the televised press conference,'' 'The Australian' reported, quoting an unidentified family friend. "She badgered him and he said 'for Christ's sake just give me the tablet' and never thought anything of it," the friend told the paper. The positive test followed Warne's astonishing 26-day recovery from a dislocated shoulder to be available to play in the World Cup, which had been flagged as his final international One-day tournament.

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