West Indian cricketer Tremayne Smartt has been found guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Doping Code.
She has been handed a ban from all cricketing activities until March 2012 after unwittingly the banned substance Furosemide was found in her system following an in-competition drugs test in September.
The 26-year-old provided a urine sample following the Twenty20 International against Pakistan in Guyana on 11th September and was tested by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory, which detected the banned substance.
An independent anti-doping tribunal then sat in London to hear the case and hand the player a five-month ban.
A statement from the ICC explained: "The tribunal accepted that Smartt had ingested the ‘Specified Substance’ for therapeutic reasons, specifically to treat swelling in her knee.
"It also found that Smartt had no intention to enhance her sporting performance or to mask the use of another performance enhancing substance, but that she had failed to satisfy the high levels of personal responsibility implicit upon her as an international cricketer subject to anti-doping rules."
The board has decided that her period of ineligibility commenced on 26th October and will expire on 26th March 2012.
“It was never my intention to breach the anti-doping regulations and I did attempt to check the Prohibited List myself," Smartt said.
"However, I acknowledge that I did not do this effectively and have to accept the consequences. My experience should act as a warning to all cricketers that they should never take any medical products without first consulting a qualified sports medicine practitioner.
"I deeply regret the embarrassment that this episode has brought upon me and the West Indies Cricket Board, and apologise to my team-mates and all fans of West Indies cricket."
Smartt has the right to appeal but must do so within 21 days of receiving the ICC's decision in writing.
© Cricket World 2011