Andre Russell might actually find out whether he’s going to be banned from cricket next week

If you’ve a decent memory, you might remember that Andre Russell had a possible two-year ban from cricket hanging over him after being unavailable for three doping tests during a 12-month period back in 2015.

‘Oh yeah,’ you may think. ‘What happened with that in the end?’

Well, the answer is that Andre Russell still has a possible two-year ban from cricket hanging over him. According to Cricinfo, the anti-doping panel will finally deliver its verdict next week.

We’ve read quite a bit about this case. As with pretty much anything that involves lawyers, the relentless arguing over every last little procedural detail only really leaves you pondering the brevity of life.

The gist is that Russell didn’t miss any tests in the literal sense, he just didn’t maintain his ‘whereabouts’ information. However, being as this information is what’s used to ensure that an athlete can be tested, as far as the doping agency’s concerned, it amounts to the same thing.

The whereabouts system is used in all sports. You can even update information on the day, an hour before your designated testing window. Russell said he didn’t know how to use the website. In fact he said he found the whole system a bit confusing and so asked his agent and travel agent to look after it for him.

Set against that, the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission’s case is something like: ‘Tough shit, it’s your responsibility.’

And after that, it all got a bit…

‘You never showed me how to use the system properly.’

‘You never asked us to show you how to use it.’

Our take is that Russell’s approach to the system seems believably shambolic, but we’re not really sure that’s an acceptable excuse.

In any case, the more important point, surely, is that we are talking about 2015 filing failures in 2017 and there has still been no decision taken.

This isn’t fair on fans, who could in theory have spent the last couple of years watching someone who has had an unfair advantage over the men he has played against. Nor is it fair on Russell, who has had a potential two-year ban hanging over him that whole time for what may prove to be little more than a minor administrative failure.

Cricket really isn’t very good at this sort of thing.

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8 Appeals

  1. Cricket aside, I’d like to see two Olympics. One where everyone is upstanding, decent and plays by the rules and another where everyone is ripped to the tits on Junior Disprin, Kaolin and Morph, Stardust (remember that gear that crackled on your tongue) or whatever it takes to run a hundred metres in five seconds flat. I’d watch that. This might be ever so slightly controversial.

    • Actually, I’ve heard that view expressed on several occasions – although the long-term health impact of adults taking Junior Disprin is normally the main argument against, there would inevitably be young athletes who ended up getting pressured into taking twice the recommended dose of Calpol in order to take part in the latter event and therefore suffering in ways that aren’t worth thinking about, just to be slightly faster in a race that it would be difficult for any spectator with anything resembling a conscience to watch.

      Plus, you’d still have the same problem of enforcing good behaviour in the ‘clean’ event – short of 24hr surveillance of every participant and monitoring of every single time they ate, drank, went to the toilet, etc, you’d still have to trust them to an extent.

  2. I read 90% of this article thinking, “and I know what the punchline is…the fellow retired back in 2015 anyway so the whole process is pointless now”…

    …then I realised that the piece is about Andre RUSSELL, not about Andre ADAMS. So I had to adjust my mental image and read the whole piece again.

    It’s early, I’m having a ludicrously busy week, my energy levels are low…

    …I’m not taking performance enhancing substances, whereas during weeks like this maybe I should…

    …depressing, the whole subject.

    • OMG an advert for Confused.com has just popped up where the pretty Chinese women used to go.

      Strong coffee, I’ll try strong coffee.

      • Both of those adverts sound better than being offered “Better Knees in 6 weeks?” I’m sure if it’s a question or some sort of strange threat.

        Are cricketers particularly prone to bad knees? Is it a well known side effect of overdosing on a Kaolin and Stardust cocktail?

      • I’m still getting Single Muslim Women

      • I get Columbia [sic] products. No white powder, though – the outdoor gear brand. Available from the Cotswold outdoor shop – where, presumably, everything is wet.

    • I’m only just getting over the shock that Andre the Giant took Junior Disprin. I’ll never look at the Princess Bride the same way again.

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