| In the twists and turns of Warne-saga, the cricketer’s relationship with fans has not always been picture perfect
Sydney: In the latest twist to the Shane Warne-saga, the Australian government on Thursday renewed calls for the 33-year-old Test leg-spinner to be banned from charity games while serving a 12-month drug suspension.
Australian Sports Minister Rod Kemp said that the government-funded Australian Sports Commission would consult with CA to ensure the cricketer was prevented from making charity appearances and training with club, state or country.
Warne, Australia’s leading Test wicket-taker, tested positive to a banned diuretic last February and was suspended from cricket for a year. “It is the advice that I have received that playing in charity teams and taking part in practice matches with the national team is contrary to the anti-doping code,” Kemp told parliament. “I believe that those (anti-doping) codes should be enforced and I believe they will be enforced.”
This development comes even as an exotic dancer has come forward with new allegations about Shane Warne’s behaviour in the fall-out of a South African woman’s sexual harassment claims against the Australian cricketer.
The dancer, a married Melbourne woman, is threatening to reveal details of her alleged relationship with the controversial Australian cricketer, celebrity agent Harry Miller told Channel Nine.
The 38-year-old dancer wanted to come forward about her alleged involvement with Warne because of the unfair treatment she thought was being given to South African Helen Cohen Alon, who has accused the cricketer of harassing her with text phone messages. “She says all the things that happened to her, this South African woman, happened to this woman as well,” Miller said. “The stuff this woman alleges, if it’s true, will make a huge noise everywhere.”
Cohen Alon has said she has been offered $28,000 by an associate of Warne to keep quiet about their relationship in a series of threatening phone calls and text messages.
Meanwhile, a former employee of Cricket Australia (CA) claimed the organisation received regular complaints about Warne. The former CA marketing employee, talking on the condition of anonymity, said that Warne had been the subject of almost daily complaints from the public for “several years”.
“There’s just too many ladies with too many stories,” she told Channel Seven with her face hidden and voice distorted. “He made life very difficult for the staff there.”
CA general manager Peter Young said he didn’t know what the ex-staffer was talking about. “I’ve been here for nine months and it’s not a fact that we get complaints about Shane Warne every day of the week,” Young said. “We received calls about Shane when the anti-doping case was on, and we have received complaints about him this week in regards to the allegations, which remain only allegations at this stage.
“It is true we receive a lot of mail, e-mail and telephone calls from the public about a range of issues, which include compliments to the players as well as complaints,” he said.
‘I didn’t want to kiss her’
Meanwhile, at a hearing on the teenager-kissing incident, Warne on Thursday denied tongue-kissing Aleasha Black or indulging in any other misdemeanour.
Instead, Warne claimed the accusations had caused unrest on his home front and damaged his standing in the commercial world.
“I am married man with a young family,” he said in a statement to the police. “This incident has caused me great personal hardship and embarrassment even though I did nothing wrong. It has caused unrest between my wife and I.
“My public reputation has been severely damaged as a result of this incident.”
Warne told police the incident occurred during a night out with quick Brett Lee at a Gold Coast night-club strip. When one car persisted in following them, Warne decided to pull over and “do whatever was necessary to get rid of them”.