Mohammad Shahzad, the Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman, has been provisionally suspended with effect from April 26 after being charged with an anti-doping rule violation, the International Cricket Council confirmed on Sunday (April 30).
Shahzad had been tested on January 17 in an out-of-competition test conducted at the ICC Academy in Dubai and was charged for a violation earlier this month. The sample, which was analysed at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, was found to contain clenbuterol, a prohibited substance that comes under the category of anabolic agents.
Shahzad will now be out of action pending the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding against him, since he did not exercise his right to challenge the imposition of the provisional suspension.
If it is proved that Shahzad knowingly took a banned substance, he could be banned for up to four years. If his doping was unintentional, then he could be out for up to two years.
Shahzad, 29, is among Afghanistan’s most influential players and he has so far featured in 58 One-Day Internationals and 58 Twenty20 Internationals.
The most recent international cricketer to face a doping sanction was Andre Russell, the West Indies allrounder who was banned for a year after failing to file his whereabouts information on three separate occasions.