van Jaarsveld suspended for three months
Vaughn van Jaarsveld, the Dolphins batsman, has been suspended from cricket for three months by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS). The ban, effectively immediately, was imposed after sibutramine, a substance in diet pills that is on WADA's prohibited list, was found in a test sample taken from van Jaarsveld in October 2010.
At the time, van Jaarsveld was provisionally suspended by Cricket South Africa, pending a hearing with SAIDS, but was subsequently cleared. SAIDS found that van Jaarsveld had taken the diet pills for legitimate reasons, not to enhance performance, and that he was not at fault under the circumstances. WADA, however, appealed the decision and SAIDS imposed a fresh suspension as a result.
van Jaarsveld, who played two ODIs and three Twenty20s for South Africa, was prescribed weight-loss medication while he was playing for Lions in July 2010. "He had requested that the doctor check that the medication did not contain any prohibited substance. It appears that the doctor made an error in doing so," the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) said in a release. "This resulted in the presence of sibutramine in van Jaarsveld's test sample on the day of the test."
"This is a particularly harsh outcome for Vaughn," Tony Irish, SACA chief executive said. "There are a few issues we are looking at right now relating to this decision, including whether or not Vaughn actually has a right to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration in Sport, in Switzerland, and also as to the actual period of the suspension."
Irish was not hopeful about the right to appeal and said van Jaarsveld may "have to live with this suspension, which comes at the worst possible time for him."
van Jaarsveld was part of a 28-man group that attended a four-day training camp under Gary Kirsten's watch at Arabella Golf Estate in early August. The camp was attended by CSA-contracted players and those on the fringes of the national side. He had also made a promising start to the 2011-12 domestic season, scoring a century for Dolphins in their first SuperSport Series match against Lions. van Jaarsveld has now been withdrawn from the Dolphins squad to play Titans in a match that starts on Thursday.
Both SACA and Dolphins promised support to van Jaarsveld through this period. Dolphins chief executive Jesse Chellan told ESPNCricinfo that van Jaarsveld will not lose his contract and that "although we will miss him in the coming matches, it is only a short period of time and we will be by his side through it."