South African cricketer gets drugs ban
Durban: South African batsman Vaughn van Jaarsveld has been banned from cricket for three months following an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the South African Cricketers` Association (SACA) said on Thursday.
The 26-year-old Van Jaarsveld, who has played two one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches for South Africa tested positive for the banned stimulant sibutramine in November after taking weight loss medication prescribed by his doctor.
Sibutramine is a stimulant which, although present in certain medications, is also on WADA`s prohibited list.
Initially, Van Jaarsveld received a reprimand from the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) after it found that the medication had been taken for legitimate weight loss reasons and not to enhance performance.
But WADA appealed against the decision, resulting in SAIDS handing down the three-month ban.
"This is a particularly harsh outcome for Vaughn, given the circumstances of this matter," SACA`s chief executive Tony Irish said in a statement.
"It seems likely that Vaughn will not be in a position to appeal and so will have to live with this suspension which comes at the worst possible time for him. We, as his player association, will be supporting him through this period.
"The decision does, however, illustrate the dangers for all sports persons unwittingly taking medication, or supplements, which may potentially contain prohibited substances. It has become so important that players and athletes actually check and double check the contents of all medications," he added.