West Indian flamboyant all-rounder Andre Russell is waiting with baited breath as independent anti-doping tribunal is set to give its verdict on January 31st. He is said to have missed three tests between Jan and July 2015. The Jamaican had his anti-doping hearing last year over a period of three months when the independent Jamaican Anti-doping commission (JADCO) pressed the charge against him.
According to WADA (World anti-doping agency) missing three tests within a span of 12 months equals to failing a dope test. If found guilty, Russell will face a ban lasting 2 years where he won’t be allowed to play cricket in any form.
Andre Russell failed to provide information about his whereabouts within 18 month period, thus violating the ‘whereabouts rule’. In spite of reminders via emails and letters, Russell failed to fill in the information. Russell defending himself, claimed that he had no training in filling the information and he was busy with his cricket.
Russell plays for a number of teams in different T20 leagues across the world. He has got a strike rate of about 164.71 in Twenty20 matches in his career. He plays for Jamaica Tallawahs, Sydney Thunder, Kolkata Knightriders, Nottinghamshire Outlaws, Islamabad among many other T20 teams.
The verdict was set to be delivered in December by the tribunal consisting of Dr.Marjorie Vassell, Hugh Faulkner, and former Jamaica cricketer Dixeth Palmer. There has been no reason provided for the delay.
The all-rounder admits that he would like to get over with the verdict and get back to playing cricket:
Russell told the Jamaica Observer: “It has been stressing and hard playing cricket with all that is in the back of your head”.
“But at the end of the day you have to do what you have to do. It is like a big cloud over my head.
“If I get a ban then certainly I am out of cricket – I mean all formats. So I’d just love to know I’m back”.
“Honestly, I am being positive and I have not been thinking about anything else that I want to do apart from doing what I love (playing cricket)”.
Russell says it is out of his control and all he can do is pray:
“I have so many fans out there and just as I would be, they would be disappointed as well”.
“After this hurdle I will come together with my management and think about doing something else, but I just want to remain positive at the moment. I think I can with the help of God (get over this without a suspension). I think it is out of my control, so I just have to wait on what happens on Tuesday”.
His lawyers, including Queen’s Counsel Patrick Foster and Donovan Walker have his vote of confidence to get a result in his favour.
It is difficult times for the Jamaican cricketer, he has no contract with the WICB (West Indies Cricker Board) but plays a lot of cricket around the globe and he would love to get back to playing the game without all the fuss.
He, however, played a 50-over game on Saturday in Kingston for St Catherine Cricket Club as he picked 3 wickets as they beat Melbourne CC.