Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah has been banned for three months by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after testing positive for a banned substance in December.
The 29-year-old will be available to play again on March 27.
Shah was provisionally suspended on December 27 after his “A” sample contained a banned substance – chlortalidone – which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appealed against Shah’s ban on January 10 after the leg-spinner was said to have taken his wife’s blood pressure medication without knowing that it contained the banned substance.
Yasir has 76 Test scalps in 12 Tests for his country and holds the record for being the fastest Pakistani bowler to reach the 50-wicket mark.
In a statement detailing the findings of Yasir’s case, the ICC said it had ‘accepted that Mr Shah had inadvertently ingested the ‘Specified Substance’ for therapeutic reasons, specifically to treat his blood pressure.’
“He [Yasir] was able to satisfy the ICC through evidence and submissions prepared on his behalf by the Pakistan Cricket Board that he had no intention to enhance his sporting performance or to mask the use of another performance enhancing substance and had, instead, mistakenly taken his wife’s blood pressure medication that was identical in appearance to his own but which contained the prohibited substance chlortalidone,” the ICC said.
Yasir, who issued a joint statement with the ICC, assured his fans that he had ‘never taken a performance enhancing drug.’
“I assure all fans and followers of the Pakistan cricket team that I have never taken a performance enhancing substance nor have I ever had the intent of masking any such substance,” Yasir said.
“I have always been careful to check my medication with doctors and medical support staff to ensure it does not contain any substance on the prohibited list.”
“I acknowledge that I should have taken extra precautions to ensure that my blood pressure medication was stored separately from my wife’s medication so that there was no possibility of my wife’s medication being mistaken for my own. Therefore, I accept the consequences imposed upon me,” he added.
Although Yasir will be eligible to represent Pakistan on March 27, it’s unclear whether he will be part of the team’s World Twenty20 plans with the tournament running from March 11 to April 3.