Karachi: Former West Indies captain Vivian Richards used to take performance enhancement drugs before anti-doping regulations were enforced by the ICC, says former Pakistan cricketer Qasim Umar.
Participating in a TV show, Umar a controversial figure in the Pakistan cricket, revealed that Richards had himself confessed to him that he use to take drugs to release tension and improve his stamina and endurance levels.
"Use of drugs was common among many players and they used to transport these drugs in their kit bags," Umar, who represented Pakistan in 26 Tests and 31 ODIs said.
Qasim Umar, who is known to make wild allegations, also blamed former Pakistan captain Imran Khan and other players of using their kit bags to transport drugs to the United Kingdom and was subsequently banned for life by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Umar's charge had led to the customs authorities at the Heathrow airport unleash sniffer dogs on the Pakistan team when they landed for a Test tour in 1987.
"I spoke the truth and I was penalised for it and my career was destroyed. But I stand by what I said. Players did use drugs and they transported them frequently in their kit bags," he said.
I know of players who used and carried drugs. This was common until anti-doping laws became more stringent in international cricket and drugs cheats were caught," he added.
Umar recalled that on the 1993 tour to the West Indies, four Pakistani players only escaped a criminal trial in Grenada after they were arrested for smoking marijuana only because the cricket authorities back home told their West Indies counterparts that they would call back the team if the players were prosecuted.