~~Warne could have played in few WC matches~~

Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 21:05 [IST]
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Sydney: Banned Australian spin bowler Shane Warne could have played in early World Cup matches last February but chose instead to admit having tested positive for a banned drug, an official said on Wednesday. The chief executive of the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA), John Mendoza, told a Senate hearing in Canberra that Warne was woken at his hotel in South Africa on February 10 to learn he had returned a positive drug test. "He elected to notify his team management within a very short period of time of ASDA waking him up in his hotel in South Africa," Mendoza said. "He alone, in consultation, as I understand, with the senior management of the team, decided to remove himself and return to Australia to undertake the hearing," he said. "They were entirely his choices." Under Australian regulations, Warne had the right to remain silent on the positive test for a banned diuretic until a second urine sample was tested, meaning he could have played in opening World Cup matches. Instead, he chose to return immediately to Australia where he faced the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) anti-doping committee. Warne, 33, was subsequently banned from playing cricket for 12 months after the second test proved positive. "He has rights under the Act which could have meant he could have stayed in South Africa, he could have played several competitions," Mendoza said. "But he, in my view quite wisely, elected to forego those rights and remove himself from the team so the team could get on with the business of what it was to do in South Africa." Australia went on to win the World Cup. Copyright AFP 2001

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