FICA welcome withdrawal of Kusal doping charges

Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) Executive Chairman Tony Irish has welcomed the withdrawal of disciplinary proceedings against Sri Lanka Kusal Perera under the ICC anti-doping code, after the WADA-accredited laboratory in Qatar withdrew its original Adverse Analytical Finding.

Sri Lanka batsman Kusal was cleared, after being suspended since December, after the International Cricket Council (ICC) admitted an error in the handling of the case.

Irish said: "We are pleased that the right result has been achieved and welcome the decision, however, this case brings to light several issues in regard to anti-doping regulation in cricket.

"The damaging impact of the error on Kusal's career is not to be underestimated. He has been removed from the game for a significant period of time in the middle of a developing career, for reasons which have been found to be unjustifiable.

"The case highlights many of the pre-existing concerns held by FICA and athlete representatives around the world around the inflexibility and unfairness of the WADA code, the requirement for sports to be compliant and its appropriateness for sophisticated team sports such as cricket.

"We have voiced these concerns to the ICC over the past year, and will seek to discuss this further.                      

"The concerns raised have included the view that the WADA program is ineffective in safeguarding the interests of clean athletes and is open to penalties being imposed on players who are not 'cheats'."

Irish went on to say: "FICA is supportive of fair, proportionate and appropriate measures to ensure that cricket is a clean sport. However, the game must ensure that any measures are effective and tailored to the game of cricket."

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