Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday announced Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad was suspended from all cricket-related activities for twelve months after pleading guilty to a anti-doping breach.
Shahzad had been tested positive for clenbuterol this January, a substance which is classified as a non-specified substance under WADA's Prohibited List and is prohibited both in-competition and out-of-competition.
The 29-year-old admitted the violation and a twelve-month suspension has been imposed, backdated to January 17, 2017, the date of his sample collection.
He will, therefore, be eligible to make a return to Cricket on the same date next year, which is just five weeks away.
In making the decision, the ICC accepted that Shahzad had inadvertently ingested the prohibited substance, as a contaminant of a weight loss product he was taking, Hydroxycut.
Shahzad was able to satisfy the ICC through evidence and submissions prepared on his behalf that he had no intention to enhance his sporting performance through the use of prohibited substances or to mask the use of another performance enhancing substance and had, instead, inadvertently ingested the prohibited substance after taking Hyrdoxycut supplements which were contaminated with Clenbuterol.
However, Shahzad has accepted 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.
"It further serves as a reminder to all international cricketers of the dangers and risks associated with taking supplements.
"Before thinking about taking a supplement, cricketers should weigh up the risks and dangers of doing so and should fully research the supplement in question so they can make an informed decision," continued Allardice.
Shahzad, who made his international debut in 2010, has featured in 58 ODIs and as many T20Is, scoring 1,901 runs and 1,779 runs respectively.