Suspension handed to Proteas star over banned substance

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Cricket South Africa (CSA), the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) and Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) dramatically announced in March that Proteas player, Zubayr Hamza had tested positive for a prohibited substance under the International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-doping code. The positive test followed an ICC anti-doping test on the 17 January 2022.

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Hamza did not dispute the positive test, was said to co-operating fully with the ICC, and he agreed to a voluntary suspension commencing immediately whilst written submissions were presented to the ICC.

The positive test related to the substance Furosemide, which is not a performance enhancing substance, and Hamza has been able to identify how the substance entered his system. The process to follow was said to entail presenting evidence that there was no fault or negligence, or no significant fault or negligence on the part of Hamza.

“CSA, SACA and WPCA are supporting Zubayr in this process, and will continue to do so until the matter is concluded,” a statement read when the shock announcement was made.

According to Sunday newspaper Rapport, the ICC is now set to impose a nine-month ban on Hamza, with the decision handed down after a submission from Hamza’s legal representatives.

According to the article, the outcome of the case should be confirmed next week, while the ban will be served retroactively from 22 March, meaning he will be able to return to play early next year.

Hamza has regularly been on the periphery of the Proteas team

The 26-year-old batsman has played in six Test matches previously for the Proteas, with a highest score of 62, while he has featured in one ODI.

His last national appearance came as recently as the Test against New Zealand in Christchurch in mid-February.

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