August 8, 2003

Warne hits back at anti-doping body

Wisden CricInfo staff

In an interview to ABC radio, Shane Warne has hit back at Dick Pound, World Anti-Doping Agency president. He said: "As far as I'm concerned it's got nothing to do with these guys (WADA)."

"I'm an employee of the Australian Cricket Board and both the ACB (now called Cricket Australia) and us have come to a decision," said Warne. "I've abided by their rules and had an arbitration meeting and they said I can play in charity games, I can train with the team, I can do all those things."

Pound and David Howman, WADA chief executive, earlier criticised Cricket Australia's (CA) decision to allow Warne to play in charity matches and train with the team, saying that it was "bizarre" and "anti-ethical" to "allow a cheater to play".

Jason Warne, Shane's brother and manager, said today that Shane didn't have immediate plans to play charity games anyway, putting to rest rumours that he had a game lined up for the rich Lashings club in England on August 18.

"The first thing is, Shane has no charity games booked in at the moment - no, he's not playing for Lashings, simply because he's unavailable," said Jason. "Right from the word go, not once has Shane been told he can't train with the team, as long as he's invited."

CA ruled Warne was ineligible for any form of cricket when it suspended him in February for testing positive to a diuretic.

But in July an independent arbitrator gave Warne the green light to take part in charity fixtures, forcing CA to comply.

Warne will finish his ban on February 10 - just before Australia leaves for a tour of Sri Lanka.

In the meantime, he can be invited to train as a guest with the Australian team - another development the WADA hierarchy disapproves of.

Warne, who hasn't bowled a ball since a guest appearance at a net in June, will be commentating on Channel Nine during Australia's home Test series against Zimbabwe in October.

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