Kolkata: After athlete Nesta Carter, it’s time for another Jamaican, all-rounder Andre Russell to face ban for doping. The decision was made after the Jamaican cricketer failed to file about his whereabouts on three occasions, which in turn constituted a failed drug test under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). He is banned from all forms of cricket till January 31, 2018.
“Mr Russell was found guilty of a doping violation” said Hugh Faulkner who is the chairman of the independent anti-doping tribunal that handed out the punishment to the Jamaican star cricketer.
Patrick Foster, the lawyer of Russell has stated that his client is a ‘clean’ cricketer and if possible, he may even go for an appeal against the WADA’s decision. He said, “Mr Russell is a clean athlete who seeks to uphold the integrity of cricket. He respects and makes every effort to be compliant with the rules of the sport generally, cricket and to comply with anti-doping rules and procedures. Our client will continue to cooperate with the JADCO (Jamaican Anti-doping Commission) and WADA”
When asked about his ban, Russell who represents the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) portrayed his grief by saying, “It’s been stressing and hard playing cricket and all that’s in the back of your head. But at the end of the day you have to do what you have to do. It’s like a big cloud over my head.”
Russell also told that he would be waiting for his comeback so that he could do what he loves to, that is playing cricket. He also said that he wanted to be positive at the moment and requested his fans to be with him in this period of hardship.
This decision of the WADA has given the West Indies cricket board a huge blow. Russell, who guided the West Indian side to victory in the T20 World Cup against England last year in India, has been banned at a crucial time. The team is set to tour both England and Pakistan and figure in the ICC Champions Trophy.
Alongside West Indies. KKR will equally be affected by the decision of the WADA. The all-rounder was roped in by the Shah Rukh Khan-owned team in 2014 for a price of Rs 60 lakh. Since then, Russell has been an integral part of the team. He has added a lot of value to its middle order, courtesy his ability to hit the ball hard, pinch hitting techniques and finishing skills. In the IPL, 2016, he was the highest wicket-taker for the team. KKR will miss him.
(With inputs from PTI and ESPN)