~~Test-playing nations should conduct dope tests~~

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Jaipur:The International Cricket Council (ICC) has urged all Test-playing nations to conduct regular drug tests to make the game better and stronger.

"The current situation is unfortunate, but what we must do is to use it as a springboard to move forward," ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said Tuesday, just a day after Pakistani pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif failed a dope test.

"That way, if cricket does have a drug-related problem, and I do not believe it has, we can identify it, deal with it and make sure the game gets stronger as a result.

"Pakistan is one of five of our full members that are already testing their players ... and I would urge those not already doing so to follow suit for the good of the game."

Australia, England, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa are already conducting tests, while the West Indies are set to start their own testing procedures in near future.

"Cricketers are role models," Speed said in a statement.

"They need to be sending out the right messages to the public and that is one of the reasons why we must have a zero tolerance on drug use in any context.

"Traditionally, cricket has been regarded as a low-risk sport when it comes to the subject of drug use but that does not mean we can be or are complacent in any way."

Doping tests will be conducted in six matches of the ongoing Champions Trophy tournament in India, with four players in each game chosen randomly to provide samples after play.

No player has so far been tested.

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