Image courtesy of: Zimbio
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has been banned for a year by an independent anti-doping tribunal in Kingston, Jamaica.
Russell’s one-year ban stems from the fact that he missed three drug tests on January 1, July 1 and July 25 in 2015 and failed to file his whereabouts on each occasion despite being reminded several times. Under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules and regulations, skipping three tests is seen as a failed drug test.
Russell’s ban began on January 31, 2017 and will end on January 30, 2018, but the 28-year-old’s lawyer, Patrick Foster, confirmed that he would speak to his client about what to do next, which could include lodging an appeal against the ban.
In an attempt to defend himself, Russell told the three-member tribunal, which comprised of Hugh Faulkner, Dr Marjorie Vassell and Dixeth Palmer, that he was unsure of the process of how to file his whereabouts and had given his agent Will Quinn and Tajae Smith, one of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) officials, permission to sort it out.
But, JADCO legal counsel Lackston Robinson insisted that Russell should have known the process, especially as all the players had been offered education programmes on anti-doping and the filing whereabouts procedure.
It is unclear what Russell’s next move will be, but it is likely that he will miss the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Indian Premier League (IPL), the Natwest T20 Blast in England and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Russell’s PSL franchise, Islamabad United, have already named England seamer Steven Finn as his replacement. It is likely that the Kolkata Knight Riders, Nottinghamshire and the Jamaica Tallawahs will follow in the footsteps of Islamabad United and start searching for another player to take Russell’s spot in their respective squads.