"Olympian" Warne would face two-year ban, says Aussie Games chief
SYDNEY, Sunday (AFP) - Cricket legend Shane Warne would face a two-year ban
from competition if his positive drug test was assessed under Australian
Olympic standards, according to the country's Games chief.
Champion legspinner Warne was forced home from the World Cup last week after
testing positive for a banned diuretic in a random test by the Australian
Sports *** Agency prior to the team's departure to South Africa earlier
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates said there was
never any excuse for using a banned substance and he was unimpressed by the
extenuating circumstances expected to be put forward by Warne in his defence
at an impending Australian Cricket Board (ACB) hearing sometime this week.
"Under the AOC's policy, which is strict liability and very limited
extenuating circumstances, Shane would have great difficulty and I would
think it would be a two-year penalty," Coates was quoted by the Sun Herald
newspaper on Sunday.
"Nothing I have read would show me there are extenuating circumstances to
make it less.
"But he is subject not to our (AOC) bylaw, he is subject to the rules of
cricket which have been approved by the (government-backed) Australian
Both The Australian national newspaper and Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported
Friday that Warne, 33, took the diet pill after being nagged by his mother
Brigitte. Warne has denied using performance-enhancing ***.
The ACB said Friday that Warne was facing a charge of using a "prohibited
method", which draws a minimum two-year ban for the first offence.
Warne faces being driven out of cricket if he cannot prove mitigating
circumstances to the ACB's anti-doping panel for taking the substance which
is used to aid weight loss but can also mask steroid use.
Coates said there was never any excuse for using a banned substance.
"It's not for me to give Shane Warne any message -- he's not one of my
athletes," he said.
"Ignorance certainly isn't an excuse with us and our athletes understand
"You are responsible for what's in your body."
A leading Australian sports lawyer said Warne's vanity could prove to be his
best chance of escaping a career-threatening ban over his positive ***
According to lawyer, Michael Rowe, Warne's desire to show off a trim figure
for the cameras might just get him off the hook when he pleads his case to
"He could argue that he took the tablet on the insistence of his mother to
aid his appearance and make himself look thinner," said Rowe, the chairman
of Tennis Australia's anti-doping committee.
"He's got this new image of himself as a fit sportsman and he wanted to help
that a little before he made his comeback," Rowe told AFP.
"That's got nothing to do with trying to improve his capacity to play
cricket, he's already proved he can take wickets when he's carrying extra
"He's known for being vain, there's no doubt about that, and I suppose it
would be ironic if that was what saved him."