DUBAI, 27 December: Pakistan’s leg-spinner Yasir Shah was on Sundayprovisionally suspended for failing a dope test by the International Cricket Council (ICC). “Shah has been charged with an anti-doping rule violation on a sample he provided in an in-competition test,” an ICC statement announced.
“The test, conducted on 13 November 2015, was found to contain the presence of chlortalidone, a Prohibited Substance which appears in Section 5 of the World Anti-Doping Agency list (in the category of Specified Substances).” “In accordance with the ICC Anti-Doping Code, pending the outcome of the disciplinary process, Yasir has been provisionally suspended,” said the ICC.
The 29-year-old has emerged as a match-winner for Pakistan since ace spinner Saeed Ajmal’s action was reported and subsequently lost his wicket-taking ability with a remodelled action. Shah took 12 wickets in Pakistan’s 2-0 win against Australia last year before playing a key role in this year’s 2-1 Test series win in Sri Lanka with 24 wickets.
A day before he was tested (November 12) Shah had fallen down while bowling in the nets in his follow through and had to miss the first Test against England in Abu Dhabi with a back problem. He returned for the second and third Tests, taking 15 wickets to help Pakistan beat England 2-0.
Yasir has been the mainstay for Pakistan’s bowling line-up in Test matches since his debut in October 2014. The 29-year-old has 76 Test scalps in 12 Tests for his country and holds the record for being the fastest Pakistani bowler to reach the 50-wicket mark.
The Swabi-born leggie also impressed leg-spin great Shane Warne, who recently declared him as “probably the best leg-spinner in the world”. The latest doping issue came after Sri Lankan wicketkeeper batsman Kusal Prera tested positive for a banned substance earlier this month.
Prerace faces a lengthy ban from international cricket with his B sample understood to have also tested positive. Perera had to be withdrawn from Sri Lanka’s tour to New Zealand after the news came. His test was conducted in October.
This is not the first time a Pakistani cricketer has faced charges for positive dope tests. In 2006 fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were banned for two years after dope tests proved that the duo used nandrolone – a performance enhancing drug. Shane Warne also received a one-year-ban after using a banned diuretic in 2003.