Brendan Taylor has been handed a three-and-a-half year ban from all forms of cricket after he accepted four charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code and one separate charge of breaching the Anti-Doping Code.
Taylor represented Zimbabwe in 284 international matches between 2004 and 2021, scoring 9,938 runs with 17 centuries.
He accepted the sanctions after admitting to various breaches of the Anti-Corruption Code while a separate charge of breaching the Anti-Doping Code was levelled against him for a positive test result for the stimulant Benzoylecognine, a cocaine metabolite, in September last year.
The first of Taylor's anti-corruption breaches was for failing to disclose “(without unnecessary delay) the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit that (a) the participant knew or should have known was given to them to procure a breach of the Code or (b) that was made or given in circumstances that could bring the participant or the sport of cricket into disrepute”.
Taylor was also guilty of not disclosing “(without unnecessary delay), a receipt of gifts/hospitality with a value of US$750 or more regardless of the circumstances in which they were given”.
The third charge was not disclosing “(without unnecessary delay), full details of the approach received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code” including in relation to a then upcoming series against Sri Lanka and/or Bangladesh.
In the fourth and final charge, Taylor breached the Code by obstructing or delaying an Anti-Corruption Unit investigation, including “concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence of or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code”.
On the Zimbabwean's ban, Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager of the Integrity Unit said: "Brendan is a former international captain who represented Zimbabwe for 17 years.”
"Over such a long career, he participated in numerous anti-corruption and anti-doping education sessions and knew exactly what his obligations were under the ICC Anti-Corruption and Anti-Doping Codes.
“It is disappointing that a player of his experience chose not to fulfil those obligations, however, he has accepted all charges, which has been reflected in the sanction.”
Prior to the ICC investigation concluding, the former cricketer released a personal statement on social media where he alleged he was handed US$15,000 as a deposit for spot-fixing and said he would have been paid a further US$20,000 “once the 'job' was complete”.
Taylor also acknowledged his delay in reporting the approach to the ICC was not acceptable under the Code and urged other player to report such incidents to the ICC as soon as an approach is made, a sentiment reinforced by Marshall:
“I would echo Brendan’s message to other players to report approaches as soon as they happen so any corrupt activity can be disrupted at the earliest possible opportunity,” said Marshall.
However, Taylor denied ever having cheated in international cricket.
“I would like to place on the record that I have never been involved in any form of match fixing,” said Taylor in his statement.
The anti-doping charge was issued independently to the anti-corruption charges, resulting from an in-competition test conducted on September 8, 2021 after Zimbabwe's match against Ireland.
Benzoylecognine is specified as a Substance of Abuse under the ICC Anti-Doping Code.
He accepted a one-month period of ineligibility for this violation with his ineligibility reduced to a month because Taylor was able to establish that he had ingested the substance out of competition and it was not related to sports performance.
Taylor is also undergoing a rehabilitation treatment programme.
This one-month suspension will run concurrently along with his three-and-a-half-year ban, with Taylor being able to resume playing cricket on July 28, 2025.
“We wish Brendan well in his rehabilitation, Marshall said.
The anti-corruption decision (which has been redacted to protect the identities of the ICC’s witnesses and other third parties) is available here.
The anti-doping decision is available here.
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