County news May 7, 2005

Piper faces ban after failing drug test

Cricinfo staff

Keith Piper: faces ECB hearing © Getty Images
Keith Piper has been summoned to appear before the ECB's disciplinary panel later this week after reportedly testing positive for cannabis. Piper was tested during Warwickshire's Championship match against Hampshire at Edgbaston last month

If the panel finds against him, it would in all likelihood signal the end of Piper's career. He is 35 and has a previous offence behind him - he failed an internally-conducted drugs test in 1997 and served a one-match ban.

Dennis Amiss, Warwickshire's chief executive, confirmed the news in a statement: "One of our players has given a positive sample and he will appear before an ECB Disciplinary panel next week." Amiss himself now comes under increasing pressure as Piper is the third Warwickshire player to be in such a position - Paul Smith and Graham Wagg have also served drugs-related bans. Last season Wagg was given a 15-month ban by the ECB after testing positive for cocaine, and suffered a double blow when his Warwickshire contract was duly terminated.

The Birmingham Post, which broke the story on Saturday, claimed that the drugs policy the club promised to introduce after the Wagg incident has never materialized, adding that while a firm was hired to construct a policy, the county have not reacted to the draft proposal sent to them before Christmas.