Warne's B sample also positive, faces two-year ban

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney: Australian leg spinner Shane Warne's 'B' sample also tested positive for the banned diuretics and the cricketer now faces a maximum two-year ban from international cricket. The Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA), which carried out the tests, is believed to have informed Warne about the second positive test. Warne, who has been consulting his lawyers, has seven days under ASDA protocol to ask for an internal inquiry or appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

According to 'Sun Herald', Warne's lawyers are expected to argue that the type of diuretic used by the leg spinner was not strong enough to hide traces of steroids. Warne was tested in Melbourne on January 22, a day before he announced he would quit one-day cricket. The positive result from Warne's 'A' sample test came to light hours before Australia were to start their World Cup campaign against Pakistan in South Africa.

Warne was forced to return home in a huff to await the result of the test on his 'B' sample and subsequently appear for a hearing before a drugs tribunal. Diuretics are masking agents and could be used to conceal the presence of performance-enhancing steroids or stimulants and that is why they are banned in sports.

Warne, Australia's leading wicket-taker in both Tests and One-day cricket, admitted taking a "fluid tablet", which he did not know contained prohibited substances, but has maintained that he did not take any performance enhancing drugs.

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