Players association supports Proteas’ Van Jaarsveld

2011-10-06 11:31

 The SA Cricketers’ Association (Saca) has come out in support of Proteas batsman Vaughn van Jaarsveld, after he was given a three-month ban by the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport.

“This is a particularly harsh outcome for Vaughn, given the circumstances of this matter,” said Saca chief executive Tony Irish today.
Van Jaarsveld was slapped with the ban yesterday.

He was provisionally suspended by Cricket SA when he tested positive in October last year for sibutramine, apparently after taking diet pills.

The batsman, who also plays for the Dolphins, will not be able to participate in any cricket match for the period of the ban.

Irish said: “There are a few issues that we are looking at right now relating to this decision, including whether or not Vaughn actually has a right to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration in Sport, in Switzerland, and also as to the actual period of the suspension.”

Saca said in a statement that Van Jaarsveld was prescribed weight-loss medication by his doctor while playing for the Lions in July last year.

“He had requested that the doctor check that the medication did not contain any prohibited substance. It appears that the doctor made an error in doing so,” Saca said.

“This resulted in the presence of sibutramine in Van Jaarsveld’s test sample on the day of the test.”

Irish said it was likely that Van Jaarsveld would not be able to appeal and that he would have to make peace with the decision.

“We, as his player association, will be supporting him through this period.”

Van Jaarsveld appeared before an institute disciplinary hearing on December 2 last year.

The panel found that the medication had been taken for legitimate weight loss reasons and not to enhance his performance. It was also found that, in the circumstances, Van Jaarsveld was not at fault and he was given a reprimand.

This decision was appealed by the World Anti-Doping Agency to the institute’s appeal board, which then imposed a period of ineligibility of three months.

“The decision does, however, illustrate the dangers for all sports people unwittingly taking medication, or supplements, which may potentially contain prohibited substances,” said Irish.

He said it was important for players and athletes to scrutinise the contents of all medication.

Dolphins chief executive Jesse Chellan said the franchise would also support Van Jaarsveld during his suspended period.

“We are committed to supporting Vaughn during this difficult time, but in respecting this outcome, and following discussions with Vaughn and Saca, we have withdrawn him from the SuperSport Series match against Titans commencing today.”

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