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25-Jun-2011 04:48:00 GMT
Sri Lanka news

Upul Tharanga Suspended for Three Months

Islamabad: Sri Lanka opening batsman Upul Tharanga was suspended for three months by the International Cricket Council on Friday for using a banned substance during the World Cup.

After the semifinal win against New Zealand on March 29 at Colombo, Tharanga tested positive for metabolites of two glucocortico steroids -- Prednisone and Prednisolone.

He was banned from May 9 to Aug. 8, and will miss Sri Lanka's entire ongoing tour of Britain and Ireland.

He pleaded guilty on Friday before an independent anti-doping tribunal, comprising of chairman Tim Kerr, Anik Sax and Peter Sever.

"The tribunal accepted that Tharanga had ingested the substances when drinking a herbal remedy given to him to ease discomfort caused by a long-standing shoulder injury," the ICC said in a statement.

"It also found that Tharanga had no intention to enhance his sporting performance or to mask the use of another performance-enhancing substance, but that he had failed to satisfy the high levels of personal responsibility implicit upon him as an international cricketer subject to anti-doping rules."

Tharanga apologized to fans and followers "for inadvertently committing an offence."

"I hope my fellow sportsmen will learn from my experience and be more vigilant when taking medical treatment, so that their careers do not suffer in the way that mine has," he said.

The tribunal also disqualified the rankings points he earned from the World Cup. He scored two centuries during the run to the final.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said it realizes Tharanga didn't cheat deliberately, "but the ICC maintains its zero-tolerance approach towards doping for the benefit of all its stakeholders."

Tharanga has 21 days to appeal after receiving the written decision.

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