‘Six months was what I was hoping for’, says Jesse Ryder

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

“It wasn’t the worst I could have got”

Troubled New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has admitted that he “feels fortunate” to have been handed a six-month ban after testing positive for a banned substance as he knows it could have been a lot worse.

“It was definitely no one else’s fault but mine for taking the pill,” he told Fairfax Media. “I did all the research and found nothing wrong with them. My one fault – other than taking them – was not contacting Drug Free Sport NZ [to check whether the pill was on a banned list].

“It has been a long few months, not knowing if I’ve still got a career left or not; if you fail a test you can get two years. I feel fortunate. Six months was what I was hoping for. It wasn’t the worst I could have got.”

Ryder was told that he tested positive for a banned substance on April 12 and as a result, he cannot participate in any competitive cricket until October 19.

Speaking about the pill he took, Ryder revealed that he had talked to Stephen Hotter, the strength and conditioning trainer of Wellington, before taking it.

Hotter confirmed that none of the ingredients found in the weight-loss pill were on the banned list, but according to reports, the pill could have been contaminated at the time Ryder ingested them or mislabelled.

“He [Hotter] is a good man and I get on well with him,” Ryder said. “I still respect him.

“It was my doing, I just asked for his knowledge and his help. He never once said to me ‘take them’ or anything like that.”

The flamboyant batsman is still recuperating from a fractured skull and collapsed lung he suffered after a dual assault in Christchurch in March.

Ryder stated that he was currently “80%” fit and was raring to make his domestic and international comeback.

“I’ve been working pretty hard over the last couple of months,” he said. “My head still holds me back a little but it’s definitely a lot better than what it was.

“It’s always going to be a time thing and I have seen improvement so hopefully it just continues. If I’m hitting the ball well on the [bowling] machine I figure I’ll be pretty good to go [in late October]. All going well I’d push for the West Indies tour [in December] but that’s probably not realistic. I’d have to perform pretty well over the start of the summer to get a look in at that. Hopefully all going well, the India series [in February 2014].”

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