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July 20, 2012
The Mumbai police have reportedly confirmed that Rahul Sharma, the India legspinner, and Wayne Parnell, the South Africa fast bowler, tested positive for recreational drugs after being detained by the police after a raid on a party in Mumbai in May. The BCCI said it would wait for all the details before taking any action against Rahul, who was among the 90 people arrested.
Rahul is currently in Sri Lanka with the India team for their limited-overs series, while Parnell is in Zimbabwe as part of the South Africa A squad for a tri-series.
The BCCI president N Srinivasan said there would be no hasty decision. "I don't know why everyone is in a mood to execute Rahul Sharma without even going into the details," Srinivasan told PTI. "The BCCI will first procure each and every bit of relevant information and then study them before deciding on the course of action."
Cricket South Africa said it was still waiting for news. "We have not heard anything from officials in India and we cannot comment until then," Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa team manager, said.
The Indian team management in Sri Lanka said they were waiting for an update from the Indian board. "We have not received any communication from BCCI," the team's media manager Ravi Jain said. "So it would not be proper for me to comment anything on this at this stage."
After being detained by the police in May, both cricketers had insisted that they had not taken any drugs. Parnell had said he was "in the wrong place, at the wrong time" while Rahul said he would quit cricket if found guilty.
Sourav Ganguly, captain of the Pune Warriors IPL franchise, which employs the two players, and the head of the BCCI's technical committee, said the punishment shouldn't be too harsh. "I don't think it was a performance-enhancing drug for which he (Rahul) should be punished," Ganguly said. "I think it was of those strange incidents, one unfortunate incident that should not cost him his India place.
"He should be punished for little bit of time but I don't think it's such a grave issue that he should be banned from playing for India. The BCCI needs to counsel him."
Rahul, 25, has played three ODIs and two Twenty20 matches for India. Parnell is three years younger but has greater international experience - three Tests, 22 ODIs and 15 Twenty20 matches.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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