Sat. Jul 2nd, 2022

South Africa batter Zubayr Hamza has been suspended for nine months after accidentally taking his father’s heart medication.

The pills contained the banned substance Furosemide.

The ban for taking them will rule him out of the tour of England later this year.

Hamza, who has played six Tests and 17.66 with a high score of 62, as well as a sole one-day international for South Africa, said he had intended to take his own anti-allergy medication, but ingested the wrong pill, according to his submission to the International Cricket Council’s integrity unit.

The ICC has accepted his explanation and reduced his suspension from the usual two years to nine months, backdated to March 22 this year.

The ICC’s integrity unit said it “established no significant fault or negligence on his part”.

“I have never intentionally taken a prohibited substance and I am relieved that the ICC determination confirms this fact,” Hamza said.

“The past few months have been difficult for me on a personal and professional level, and I have learned lessons that I will share with my fellow players.”

The 26-year-old Hamza, who made his debut against Pakistan in 2019 when then-captain Faf du Plessis was suspended for an over-rate offense, will be eligible to resume his career in December, when South Africa will travel to Australia for a three-Test series expected to include the Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests in Melbourne and Sydney.

He would have been in contention to tour England in August and September having been a mainstay of recent Test squads.

“It is a timely reminder to all international cricketers that they remain responsible for anything they put into their bodies, to know exactly what medication they are taking so as to ensure it does not contain a prohibited substance and does not result in an anti-doping rule violation, “Alex Marshall, General Manager of the ICC’s Integrity Unit, said on Tuesday.

Hamza’s performances between January 17 and March 22 have been expunged from the records, including his scores of 25 and six in the innings and 276-run first Test loss to New Zealand in February.

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