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Dope flak for ACB

Copenhagen: Australia’s cricket authorities have come under fire at an anti-doping summit in the Danish capital after banning spin bowler Shane Warne for just 12 months following a positive drugs test.

Adopting his customary hard line against doping, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chairman Dick Pound said: “It seemed to me that the ACB did not believe a good deal of what he (Warne) said.

“They found no exceptional circumstances... how is it that you don’t impose the minimum penalty'”If certain exceptional circumstances are thought to exist, an athlete can be exonerated completely after a positive test.

Warne was sent home from the World Cup last month after testing positive for a diuretic. Diuretics can also be used to help mask other performance-enhancing drugs.

The Australian Cricket Board meted out a 12-month ban 10 days ago, but a mandatory two-year ban for serious doping offences is central to the Anti-Doping Code being pushed through at the Copenhagen drugs summit staged by WADA.

Pound’s fellow International Olympic Committee member and athletics medical expert Arne Ljungqvist said: “It is another example where a country is very strong in words but when it comes to a case of their own they seem not to be applying the rules. They should be setting a good example themselves.”

Warne last week said that he would not appeal against the 12-month suspension. The 33-year-old said at the time: “Although I find this penalty very harsh and I am extremely disappointed this has happened I have decided that I no longer want to put my family under even more stress. Enough is enough.”

In Copenhagen, Pound, a Canadian lawyer as well as IOC member and WADA chief, said Warne had made the right decision.

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