Mohammad Shahzad has tested positive for a banned substance named ‘Clenbuterol’ and will be suspended, the International Cricket Council announced on Thursday.
The flamboyant 29-year-old batsman was tested as part of routine out-of-competition tests conducted at the ICC academy in Dubai on January 17th, with the results returning as positive. The news comes as a big blow to the Afghanistan cricket team, of which Shahzad is an integral part, as they have been looking to potentially gain Test match status.
The ICC made the announcement in a statement, which read, “The ICC today announced that Afghanistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been charged with an anti-doping rule violation under the ICC Anti-Doping Code. The sample analysed at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Salt Lake City, was found to contain the presence of Clenbuterol, a prohibited substance.”
The ICC also added that Shahzad will be banned from April 26th, “unless he exercises his right to challenge the imposition of the provisional suspension before such date. The matter will now be dealt with in accordance with the process set down in the code, and until such time as the process is resolved, the ICC will make no further comment on this matter.”
Shahzad made his international debut in 2010, and has played 58 matches each in T20s and ODIs. He is the fourth highest scorer in T20 internationals in the world, and even overtook Virat Kohli in the rankings when Afghanistan whitewashed Ireland 3-0 earlier in the year.
Clenbuterol is an anabolic agent that is generally used to treat asthma, but also helps in building lean muscle mass and burning fat.