ECB to routinely test Eng county cricketers for drugs in wake of Tom Maynard's death

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 27, 2013 08:40 hrs

English county cricketers will be tested more frequently for recreational drugs in response to the confirmation that Tom Maynard had been taking cocaine and ecstasy the night before he died last June.

It has been revealed that Maynard may have been a regular cocaine user for months at Tuesday's investigation into the death of the former Surrey batsman, the Guardian reports.

County side Surrey recommended a more comprehensive social drug-testing programme to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last summer after conducting their own inquiry into the circumstances leading to Maynard's death, the paper reported.

The ECB has previously tested for recreational drugs only in competition between 6 am on the first day of a match until an hour after its completion with its out-of-competition testing only for performance-enhancing drugs, compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency code (WADA).

However, the Maynard case has stiffened the determination of both the ECB and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) to go beyond the Wada code in order to protect the players themselves, rather than to prevent them cheating.

PCA chief executive, Angus Porter said they all agree that they ought to implement hair-testing for sportspeople, and cricket is no different, but the critical thing is that the use of recreational drugs out of competition needs to be thought of very differently from performance-enhancing, adding the purpose of the taker is different, as they are not cheating and it is too easy for people to confuse this.

In a statement issued after the inquest, the ECB said while accepting that recreational drug use is a part of modern society, they do not condone it and will take all reasonable steps to prevent its use within the game.

The statement added they also believe they have a responsibility to educate all their players and are committed to supporting any player who needs help in this area. (ANI)

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