10 Famous Cricketers Who Were Banned For Doping Violations

Published - 11 Jul 2021, 11:49 PM | Updated - 27 Nov 2023, 04:20 PM

10 Famous Cricketers Who Were Banned For Doping Violations
10 Famous Cricketers Who Were Banned For Doping Violations

Doping violations have now become one of the most common things in sports. While natural fitness is the way to go to keep themselves in shape, a few athletes or cricketers resort to consuming some illegal drugs to do the same. As a result, they end up losing a few precious years of their career.

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The cricketing boards have indeed come hard on their decisions to consume prohibited drugs and have slapped lengthy bans as punishments. Not only talented cricketers end up losing a few years of their professional career, but also their reputations, impeding their chance of returning. Over the years, a few too many men have become victims of doping violations.

We take a look at ten famous cricketers who copped a ban for doping violation:

Upul Tharanga:

Upul Tharanga. (Credits: Twitter)

Former Sri Lanka opener Upul Tharanga was arguably an accomplished opener and played nearly 300 games for the national team during his 14-year career. Upul Tharanga’s strongest suit was One-day international cricket, in which he made almost 7000 runs in 235 games. But the southpaw found himself in the middle of controversy during the 2011 World Cup.

Upul Tharanga failed a drug test during the global event. But the ICC declared that the opening batsman’s offence was not a deliberate one and banned him for three months. The 36-year old apologized to the fans for his inadvertent mistake and hopes for future players to learn from his mistake.

Abdur Rehman:

Abdur Rehman
Abdur Rehman. Image-ICC

Former Pakistan left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman became a victim of doping violation when he consumed recreational drugs in cannabis. It occurred during Abdur Rehman’s stint with Somerset during the English domestic season in 2012. England Cricket Board (ECB) took action and banned him for 12 weeks.

As a result, the 41-year old could not feature for the Sialkot Stallions during the Champions League T20 in South Africa. The left-arm spinner apologized to the ECB, PCB, and Somerset, admitting it was an error of judgement. Somerset Chief Executive Guy Lavender, serving at that position then, endorsed the decision to ban Rehman.

Pradeep Sangwan:

Pradeep Sangwan. (Credits: Web)

Though Pradeep Sangwan never played international cricket, the left-arm seamer is a seasoned domestic cricketer. Pradeep Sangwan represented the likes of Delhi, Gujarat, and Gujarat in the Indian Premier League and has good numbers in domestic cricket. He, too, became a victim of a doping violation.

The 30-year old faced a ban of 18 months from participating in any BCCI-organized event for breaching anti-doping regulations during IPL 2013. Sangwan failed a random dope test conducted during IPL 2013. The seamer’s first coach, AN Sharma, predicted that it might have occurred while taking treatment for a shoulder injury.

Mohammad Asif:

Mohammed Asif [Image-Getty
Beleaguered Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif had a highly controversial. Before Mohammad Asif’s international career ended once and for all in 2010, the right-arm pacer was found guilty of using a banned drug named Nandrolone in 2006. Shoaib Akhtar was also part of the controversy.

Asif had copped a ban for a year as he tested positive after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) conducted tests internally at the end of September. The 38-year old was one of the best swing bowlers produced by Pakistan and had a celebrated Test career, albeit for only 23 Tests. But controversies cost his career big time.

Shoaib Akhtar:

Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Asif
Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif [Image-Getty]
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar was one of the most fearsome bowlers in his peak. The Rawalpindi Express instilled fear in the hearts and minds of the best batsmen, rattling them with his run-up alone. But Shoaib Akhar’s career also consisted of several controversies, one of which was the case of doping charges.

The 45-year old was one of the men banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for consuming the banned drug named Nandrolone in 2006. Akhtar faced a ban of a couple of years. The right-arm speedster eventually retired from all forms of cricket following the 2011 World Cup.

Yusuf Pathan:

Yusuf Pathan, Sunrisers Hyderabad
Yusuf Pathan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former Indian all-rounder Yusuf Pathan was one of the most destructive batsmen in international cricket. Though Yusuf Pathan was part of India’s squad that lifted the T20 World Cup in 2007, he made a name through his exploits in the Indian Premier League. Pathan was one of the men instrumental in the Rajasthan Royals’ success in 2008.

But the spin-bowling all-rounder is also amongst the men banned for a doping violation. In January 2018, the 38-year old copped a five-month backdated ban from the BCCI for ingesting a prohibited substance named terbutaline. He last played for India in 2012 and announced his retirement earlier this year.

Andre Russell:

Andre Russell
Andre Russell (Image Credit: Twitter)

West Indian swashbuckling all-rounder Andre Russell faced a one-year ban in January 2017 an independent anti-doping panel found his doping code violation. Andre Russell’s negligence emerged in revealing his whereabouts on three occasions within a year in 2015.

The same, under the World Anti-Doping Agency rules, translated to a failed doping test. As a result, the Jamaican-born cricketer was not able to play in the Pakistan Super League and Indian Premier League that year. Russell once revealed in an interview he feels guilty of taking drugs to keep himself in shape.

Prithvi Shaw:

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw (Image Credit: Twitter)

Though Indian young sensation Prithvi Shaw started his international career with a bang, scoring a Test century on debut against the West Indies, his rise suffered a halt soon after. After a long time on the sidelines due to injury, the youngster was on track to return to the national team. But an innocent mistake in the form of taking a prohibited drug delayed his comeback.

The BCCI suspended Prithvi Shaw for doping violation until mid-November of 2019 in July that year. The BCCI release revealed they imposed a penalty on the right-handed batsman for inadvertently consuming a prohibited substance through a cough syrup. As a result, Shaw missed the home series against South Africa and Bangladesh and returned in the New Zealand tour next year.

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Shane Warne:

Shane Warne
Shane Warne (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former Australian spinner Shane Warne was a key figure in the team during their meteoric rise in international cricket. Shane Warne, who played an integral role in Australia’s 1999 World Cup win, was once again critical to their defence four years later. But on the day of the defending champions’ first match, he returned home after failing a drug test.

The Victorian had tested positive for the drug diuretic – a substance often used for weight-reduction purposes. The initial test was a routine one carried by the Australian Cricket Board and Shane Warne had to undergo further tests back home. Yet, the men in yellow did not have too much trouble without their premier leg-spinner as they defended their title going undefeated.

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Alex Hales:

Alex Hales, England, Shane Bond
Alex Hales [Image Credit: Getty]
England opener Alex Hales initially made it to their 2019 World Cup squad; however, he tested positive for recreational drugs and was ousted from the national team. The right-handed batsman has not donned the England jersey since March 2019 but continues to impress in franchise cricket.

But despite impressing, the 32-year old has not been able to make his way back into the team. Recently, there was hope for Hales to return to England’s white-ball team as a few COVID-19 positive cases forced the selectors to name a revamped squad. However, the opener was still unfortunate not to make it.

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