Mr Shah admitted the violation and a three-month suspension has been imposed, backdated to 27 December 2015
Mr Shah had provided a urine sample as part of the ICC’s random in-competition testing programme after the conclusion of the One Day International between England and Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 13 November 2015.
His sample was subsequently tested and found to contain chlortalidone. This is a classified as a ‘Specified Substance’ under WADA’s Prohibited List and is prohibited both in-competition and out-of-competition.
Mr Shah admitted the violation and a three-month suspension has been imposed, backdated to 27 December 2015, the day when he was provisionally suspended. Mr Shah will, therefore, be eligible to return to cricket on 27 March 2016.
While making the decision, the ICC accepted that Mr Shah had inadvertently ingested the ‘Specified Substance’ for therapeutic reasons, specifically to treat his blood pressure. He was able to satisfy the ICC through evidence and submissions prepared on his behalf by the Pakistan Cricket Board that he had no intention to enhance his sporting performance or to mask the use of another performance enhancing substance and had, instead, mistakenly taken his wife’s blood pressure medication that was identical in appearance to his own but which contained the prohibited substance chlortalidone.
However, Mr Shah has accepted that he had failed to satisfy the high levels of personal responsibility incumbent upon him as an international cricketer subject to anti-doping rules.
“Today’s announcement reinforces ICC’s zero-tolerance approach to doping, and reminds all international cricketers that they remain personally responsible for ensuring that anything they eat, drink or put into their bodies does not result in an anti-doping rule violation,” said ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice.
Accepting the sanction, Mr Shah reiterated that he had taken the banned substance by mistake and urged all professional cricketers to learn from his experience.
“I assure all fans and followers of the Pakistan cricket team that I have never taken a performance enhancing substance nor have I ever had the intent of masking any such substance. I have always been careful to check my medication with doctors and medical support staff to ensure it does not contain any substance on the prohibited list.”
“However, I acknowledge that I should have taken extra precautions to ensure that my blood pressure medication was stored separately from my wife’s medication so that there was no possibility of my wife’s medication being mistaken for my own. Therefore, I accept the consequences imposed upon me.”
“My experience should act as a timely reminder to all cricketers that they are solely responsible for what goes into their bodies. All professional cricketers need to exercise a high degree of caution and ensure that under any circumstance they do not take anything (including medication) that could lead to a violation.”
A full reasoned decision is available here.