South Africa news November 18, 2010

Van Jaarsveld suspension lifted

Vaughn van Jaarsveld, the Dolphins batsman who has played two one-dayers and three Twenty20 internationals for South Africa, has had his provisional suspension by Cricket South Africa (CSA) lifted. Van Jaarsveld, 25, had been suspended after he tested positive for banned stimulant sibutramine, a substance commonly found in diet pills. The tests were conducted by the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS) while van Jaarsveld was still with the Lions franchise.

It is believed that van Jaarsveld ingested the substance accidently, as it was part of prescription medication that was issued to him. "It would be appear that he is not at fault so he has been cleared to play," Dolphins chief executive Jesse Chellan told ESPNcricinfo.

Van Jaarsveld was provisionally suspended on Wednesday but the South African Cricketers Association (SACA) believed that he was innocent and at the time asked for SAIDS to be understanding. "We don't believe it is his fault, but we have to go through the process and we have waived his right to have the B-sample tested. In the circumstances, we hope the SAIDS will be pretty lenient."

The Lions distanced themselves from the situation, issuing a statement on Thursday saying that the prescription was not given by team doctor Jon Patricios and that van Jaarsveld went against team policy by obtaining a prescription from another practitioner.

"All medications issued to Gauteng Cricket Board and Lions players by our medical team are checked against the WADA list of banned substances," said Patricios in the statement. "Moreover players are warned against taking medications prescribed by doctors outside of the GCB medical team without first cross-checking the drug's status on the prohibited list.

"Players are also educated about the risk of contaminated supplements. Players who take medications or supplements without first clearing these with the team doctor do so at their own risk and against team protocol."

Dolphins coach Graham Ford said his player was attended to by a "very well respected medical practitioner", adding: "Failing a test is not something to be condoned but in these circumstances the issue is very different."

SACA chief executive Tony Irish indicated that SACA has reason to believe van Jaarsveld will be cleared completely. "Usually when SAIDS don't consider the player to have done anything wrong, the interim suspension is lifted," he said.

Van Jaarsveld will play for his for his franchise this weekend and will face a CSA Anti-Doping tribunal next week. SACA will represent Van Jaarsveld at the hearing.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent