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AFGHAN BATSMAN BANNED FOR DOPING OFFENCE

Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been handed a 12-month backdated suspension

Afghanistan's talismanic wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been banned for a doping offence.

Shahzad, who is 11th in the world T20 batting rankings, has been handed a 12-month backdated suspension by the International Cricket Council, meaning he has all-but served his sentence.

The Afghan tested positive for clenbuterol, a substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list, last January. He had been provisionally suspended since April 26 and has not played cricket since.

The terms of the suspension, received after Shahzad pleaded guilty, mean he will be allowed to take to the crease once more on January 17 - a year to the day since he tested positive.

The ICC accepted that Shahzad had not taken the substance intentionally and that he had consumed it as a contaminant of weight loss product, Hydroxcut.

Mohammad Shahzad has been banned by the ICC... but his suspension will expire in January

An ICC statement read: "Mr Shahzad was able to satisfy the ICC through evidence and submissions prepared on his behalf that he had no intention to enhance his sporting performance through the use of prohibited substances or to mask the use of another performance enhancing substance and had, instead, inadvertently ingested the prohibited substance after taking Hyrdoxycut supplements which were contaminated with Clenbuterol.  

"However, Mr Shahzad has accepted that he had failed to satisfy the high levels of personal responsibility incumbent upon him as an international cricketer subject to anti-doping rules.

ICC general manager for cricket, Geoff Allardice, said: "Today’s announcement reinforces the ICC’s zero-tolerance approach to doping, and reminds all international cricketers that they remain personally responsible for ensuring that anything they eat, drink or put into their bodies does not result in an anti-doping rule violation.

"It further serves as a reminder to all international cricketers of the dangers and risks associated with taking supplements.

"Before thinking about taking a supplement, cricketers should weigh up the risks and dangers of doing so and should fully research the supplement in question so they can make an informed decision”

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