Sydney/Melbourne, Feb. 12 (Agencies): Mum gave it. The diuretic, that is.
A shattered Shane Warne arrived in Australia today to say: “I can confirm that the fluid tablet I took before appearing to announce my retirement from one-day cricket was given to me by my mum.”
On Tuesday, Warne had said he had mistakenly taken a banned diuretic the day before a one-day international against England in Sydney on January 23. He was tested the day before and showed up positive for a banned substance, forcing his withdrawal from the World Cup.
An Australian news agency quoted a source close to the family as saying that the champion leg-spinner’s mother Bridgitte was “devastated” after realising she gave him the pill that could end his cricket career.
Warne’s mother had not yet been approached to try to explain the situation, the source said. “The question hasn’t been asked yet, it is a bit of a tender topic.”
“She is pretty devastated herself and they don’t want to go there.”
Warne had taken the pill in circumstances that were “totally innocent”, the source claimed.
After his arrival home, Warne said: “I am hopeful of returning back to South Africa to play a part in the World Cup.”
The 33-year-old took two hours to pass through customs before he held a news conference.
“I am limited in what I can say tonight because it is important I don’t compromise the formal hearing that is coming up,” Warne read from a prepared statement.
“I am pretty tired and still trying to come to terms with what has happened. I still feel a bit in shock and devastated at the news.
“Obviously, I would prefer to be in South Africa congratulating Andrew Symonds on a wonderful innings and the rest of the boys on the great start to the World Cup.”
Warne is expected to appear before the Australian Cricket Board (ACB)’s anti-doping committee next week to explain why he took the diuretic and argue mitigating circumstances.
If found guilty of doping, he could face a two-year ban under ACB rules, a penalty that would probably end his brilliant career. But the ACB said the penalty could be reduced based on evidence by the anti-doping committee’s medical adviser.
The ACB has said the positive test is “preliminary and subject to confirmation”, and that if Warne is cleared of doping, it will seek his reinstatement to the Australian World Cup squad.
It said the anti-doping hearing in Melbourne would be held once the results of a second drug test, or B sample, were received. The results of the B sample are expected on Friday.