Wednesday 27 February 2013 

ECB Confirms Plans To Step Up Drug Testing

ECB Confirms Plans To Step Up Drug Testing
ECB Confirms Plans To Step Up Drug Testing
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed plans to step up its out-of-competition drug testing encompassing recreational drugs.

The announcement came in a joint statement from the ECB and Surrey following the inquest into the death last year of Surrey cricketer Tom Maynard.

The inquest confirmed that Maynard had traces of cocaine and ecstasy in his system at the time of his death and he was four times over the legal drink-drive limit.

"While the ECB accepts that recreational drug use is a part of modern society, we do not condone it and will take all reasonable steps to prevent its use within the game," the statement read.

"We also believe we have a responsibility to educate all our players and are committed to supporting any player who needs help in this area.

"Surrey CCC began its own investigations into conduct at the end of last season and introduced a team-wide anti-drug policy which all players and management are required to abide by. Working in partnership with ECB and PCA further recommendations have been initiated.

"The ECB Board has recently agreed to develop an out-of-competition testing programme to encompass recreational drugs, in co-operation with the PCA."

Up to 200 tests are already carried out on cricketers each year by the ECB. Last year, Pakistan international Abdur Rehman tested positive for cannabis while playing for Somerset and was banned for 12 weeks.

23-year-old Maynard died on 18th June 2012 at Wimbledon Park station. A verdict of accidental death was returned by the jury.

The recreational drugs in his system were identified by analysis of strands of his hair, following which coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox has called for such hair analysis to be more widely employed as a means of monitoring drug use in sport.

"Hair records drug use over weeks or months in comparison to the days or hours that a urine sample would provide," Doug MacSween, General Manager for Trimega Laboratories, a leading scientific hub for hair testing, explained in a press release issued by Trimega.

"Each centimetre of hair equates to approximately a month’s growth, so a 3cm length of hair will profile about 3 months history of drug use or abstinence."

© Cricket World 2013

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