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Warne withdraws from official training

Melbourne: Disgraced Australian Test cricketer Shane Warne said Friday he will take no further part in any official training until the end of his 12-month drug ban in February.

The controversial 33-year-old leg-spinner told a press conference here that the arguments about what he can do in cricket during his ban had gone on for too long.

Cricket Australia (CA) has been told by the government- funded Australian Sports Commission (ASC) that it was unacceptable for Warne to train while serving his 12-month ban for taking a banned diuretic, detected in a doping test prior to the World Cup in South Africa.

Under CAs anti-doping policy, the training ban covers national, state and even club training.

I think its ridiculous that six months after the event now to say I cant train (it) just seems there are too many agendas with too many people, Warne said reading from a statement. I have come to the decision that I am going to remove myself from all official training.

I have made this decision as I do not want to place any teammates or anyone else in an awkward position. I will continue to work on my fitness and my cricket skills by myself and with some friends.

I know I still have a lot to offer cricket, at what level that is, is out of my control. All I can do is to present myself in the best possible way and hope that the powers that be will enjoy my return (to cricket).

Warne would not take questions from the media at his press conference, which he called at Crown Casino.

Warne began his brief address saying that any issues or allegations concerning his private life would remain private.

It was his first comments on the controversy since South African woman Helen Cohen Alon accused Warne over a fortnight ago of sending her raunchy text messages.

A Melbourne stripper has also approached media outlets with allegations of an affair with the leg-spinner.

This follows an admission in August 2000 that Warne made lewd telephone calls to a nurse while playing county cricket in England. He subsequently lost the Australian Test team vice-captaincy over the incident.

Warnes wife, Simone, said she would stand by her husband, who has figured in several off-field incidents over the years.

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