Sydney: Shane Warne's 12-month ban from international cricket sparked mixed reactions from various quarters on Saturday with Test captain Steve Waugh saying it would be very difficult for the leg spinner to force his way back in the national squad.
"It is the unknown question, I am sure that Shane will initially say to himself, 'I want to get back in there and back on the field,' but as time goes by his mind will be in different places," said Waugh who was dropped from the One-day side last year. "But it is really his decision, and he has got to have the motivation to continue.... To train for 12 months without playing, that has to be very difficult," Waugh was quoted as saying on an Australian Website.
For national chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns the anti-doping tribunal's decision was something that "had to be lived with". "Twelve months - that's the decision and everyone has to get on with it," Hohns said. Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates said Warne's case should serve as a wake-up call to all athletes. "This is a stark reminder to everyone that you have to know what's inside your body and you're responsible for what you take," Coates told Sky News. World Anti-Doping Agency chief operating officer David Howman said he did not know as yet the reasoning behind the ruling.
"You've got to say that they've at least done the right thing in making sure that there was a doping infraction found because it would have been a very unusual decision to have done otherwise," Howman said. "The international community would be expecting appropriate process and proper dealing with it according to what the evidence was and, of course without knowing all the evidence, it's difficult to comment. "What we understand was that Warne was putting up a defence of inadvertent use, if you like, by taking something that was given to him by this mother and so on.
"That didn't really go down well as far as excuses were concerned because we've had so many of them over the years from spiked toothpaste to sitting on needles and so forth," Howman said. Prime Minister John Howard said he would not comment on Warne's ban because the leg spinner had vowed to appeal. "As an appeal is pending the Prime Minister has no comment on this particular case," a spokesman said. Federal Opposition leader Simon Crean said Warne knew the rules and must pay the price. "It's a tragedy for cricket," he said through a spokesman. "But nobody can be immune to the penalties that apply for drugs in sport."