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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has banned opener Ahmed Shehzad for four months after he tested positive for a “prohibited substance”.
However, Shehzad’s ban will be backdated to July 10, 2018, which was when he received a Notice of Charge and was suspended from playing all forms of cricket. As a result of this, he will be allowed to start playing cricket again on November 11, 2018.
“A four month period of ineligibility, commencing from the date of his Provisional Suspension, i.e. 10th July 2018, has been imposed on Shehzad,” a PCB release said as quoted by Cricbuzz. “Additionally, as a part of his rehabilitation process Ahmad shall also deliver lectures on anti-doping to such audiences and at such places as the PCB may require.”
The release added that Shehzad “had no intent to cheat or enhance his performance”, and added that the 26-year-old had accepted the sanction imposed on him.
In a statement PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said: “PCB has a zero tolerance policy towards doping in cricket and hopes that in future cricketers will exercise utmost care to ensure that no Prohibited Substances enter their system.”
Shehzad underwent a doping test during the Pakistan Cup, which is a domestic one-day competition the country holds, and submitted a urine sample on May 3.
The sample was given to a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory to be analysed. It was at this time that the presence of a prohibited substance was found. The PCB learnt about this in a report that was given to them on June 11.
Despite this, Shehzad featured in two Twenty20 Internationals against Scotland on June 12 and 13, but was dropped for the Twenty20 tri-series against Zimbabwe and Australia. Prior to the tri-series, the media began reporting that Shehzad had tested positive for a banned substance before it was eventually confirmed by the PCB.