New Zealand news August 20, 2013

Ryder banned for six months after failing drug test

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has been banned for six months after failing a drug test in March. He will be available to play again after October 19, once the retrospective penalty ends.

Ryder underwent a routine drug test while playing a Ford Trophy match for Wellington on March 24. He tested positive for 1-Phenylbutan-2-amine (PBA) and N, alpha-diethyl-benzeneethanamine (DEBEA), which are banned in sports.

Ryder was informed of the result on April 12 and attended a hearing before the New Zealand Sports Tribunal earlier this month, where the ban was handed down. The batsman will not contest the decision of the tribunal.

According to the Tribunal, Ryder "'may not during the period of ineligibility participate in any capacity in a competition or activity authorised or organised by New Zealand Cricket or a cricket club or other member organisation''.

The mandatory punishment for a drug violation is a two-year ban, but Ryder was given a lighter sentence because he could establish that he did not use drugs to improve his performance. He was also able to attribute the source of the drugs to a dietary supplement that he was taking as part of a weight-loss programme.

According to news reports, Ryder made some enquiries about the supplement on his own and decided to take it after concluding that it did not contain any banned substances. However, he did not contact Drug Free Sport, an anti-doping organisation, to check whether the product was on its list of banned substances. After he tested positive, he commissioned an independent forensic analysis, which confirmed the presence of the substances and traced them to the dietary supplement.

In a statement released by the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association, Ryder said: "I'm devastated by this situation. I've never taken drugs and to be in this situation distresses me greatly. I simply took the supplement alongside a training programme I was completing to help me lose weight. I have attended anti-doping education seminars during my time in cricket and am a strong supporter of Drug Free Sport New Zealand. I'm aware of the precautions you need to take; I did take steps to check the supplement but ultimately it was my responsibility and I accept that. Whilst everyone is aware of my well-documented battles with alcohol, it's important for me to state that I abhor drug use of any kind, both recreational and performance-enhancing in sport.''

Ryder, who has played 18 Tests and 39 ODIs for New Zealand so far, took a sabbatical from international cricket in 2012, choosing to focus on his fitness and domestic cricket. Earlier this year, Ryder was assaulted outside a bar in Christchurch and spent two days in a medically induced coma before making a recovery. In July, Ryder announced his decision to leave Wellington and represent Otago in the forthcoming domestic season.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • DAvid on August 20, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Another bad decision from a man with a history of bad decisions.

    And unless Ryder can stay away from the booze his talent will never be realised.

  • Craig on August 20, 2013, 20:13 GMT

    The only good thing from this is that Ryder has made himself available of NZ again from December onwards

  • abhijeet on August 20, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    @ shane-oh. Actually Jesse Ryder is squandering it and you got to question why do all sorts of weird things happen to him. He is a problem-magnet and he alone is responsible. Even in that bar episode, he should have understood that there is not too much of a good hapeening in the night at bars. James Sutherland's words, by the way, not mine. Do we see Tendulkar or Federer complaining ever that they can't go out on the street forget a bar. Jesse Ryder has to understand that stakes are higher for him. That is the bad side-effect of being a sportsman which you have to live with. If you are paid loads of money, get so much of recognization and loved across the world, you have to pay a small price in terms of freedom.

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Poor Jesse, guy can't catch a break. I am sure he brings some of it on himself, but I can't help feeling he is due a silver lining.

  • Shane on August 20, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    @ Sai Ganesh - that's a bit harsh. To claim he has made a mockery of himself, while true a couple of times several years ago, isn't really accurate in relation to the family problems you allude to, or indeed being attacked for no reason by drunken thugs. This latest episode, I feel, will be blown out of proportion as anything relating to Ryder generally is - and believe me, our media in NZ are the worst of all. This 6 month ban tells us that those charged with establishing the facts have no doubt this was a stupid mistake, and so they have sent a message that you need to be more vigilant. Definitely a bad decision by Ryder but I don't think we need to tear shreds off the lad. The reality with Ryder is that he had 2-3 alcohol fuelled incidents in 2008-2009. Since then, he was castigated for swearing at an abusive bar patron, then attacked by idiots. He's really not the demon he is made out to be.

  • David on August 20, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Gagg I reckon drugs can improve a batsman's performance - if they gave you additional endurance it could be the difference between you making 30 and 100. Just hypothetical - not saying Jesse did anything like that. I feel sorry for the bloke but he does seem to be accident prone, to put it mildly.

  • anton on August 20, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    "can anyone tell me how drugs CAN improve a batsmans performance? It's all hand eye coordination and technique, drugs can't improve anything. So just a waste of time and I feel for Ryder. "

    Baseball players use it all the time to try and hit further (during the steroid era number of guys hitting 50 plus home runs a year increased greatly as opposed to pre-steroids), but also to stay injury free. Some drugs provide better recuperation.

  • achint on August 20, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    Ryder tested positive on 24 march, So his ban should be over on 24 september why the delay till 19 october?

  • Garry on August 20, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    "he could establish that he did not use drugs to improve his performance", can anyone tell me how drugs CAN improve a batsmans performance? It's all hand eye coordination and technique, drugs can't improve anything. So just a waste of time and I feel for Ryder.

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Jesse Ryder an excellent left hand batsman, once considered as the future of New Zealand cricket.Whenever there occurs a chance for him to be a surety in the side he makes a mockery of himself and spoils any chance of him making the side,by his drinking problems or family issues or even this incidence for instance.The restate of New Zealand cricket to its old glory need a player of Ryder's caliber but he somehow don't understand his talents or just want to live at the moment.Hope this is the not the end of such a high caliber player otherwise it will be a great loss to New Zealand cricket.

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