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Drug test call: Root out the cocaine abusers in cricket, says Maynard coroner

Cricket bosses should take hair samples to test for drugs after Tom Maynard died while high on a cocktail of cocaine and alcohol, a coroner said last night.

Dr Fiona Wilcox made the recommendation after a verdict of accidental death was recorded on the 23-year-old Surrey cricketer, who was hit by a Tube train on a live rail having been stopped by police on suspicion of drink- driving last June.


Westminster Coroners Court heard that hair taken from the scalp of Maynard was 'consistent with daily use of cocaine for a period of at least three-and-a-half months'.

Tragedy: Maynard has used cocaine every day for over three months, according to the coronerTragedy: Maynard has used cocaine every day for over three months, according to the coroner


Court date: Friends and former team-mates Jade Dernbach and Rory Hamilton-Brown were at the inquest

Court date: Friends and former team-mates Jade Dernbach and Rory Hamilton-Brown were at the inquest


Court date: Friends and former team-mates Jade Dernbach and Rory Hamilton-Brown were at the inquest



Ecstasy was also found in his system, along with four times the legal alcohol limit for driving. At the end of the seven-hour inquest, Dr Wilcox directly addressed officials from Surrey and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), saying: 'I suggest hair analysis should form part of testing for recreational drugs in sport. It shows patterns in drug use stretching back several months.'

Only blood and urine samples are currently tested, meaning several drugs are undetectable within 24 or 48 hours. There are also as few as 200 tests carried out annually on around 360 county players.

Surrey chief executive Richard Gould said: ‘We would welcome the idea of hair testing. It is something the ECB and the PCA (Professional Cricketers’ Association) are also looking at. If it helps us get the most complete system to protect players, we would support it. Rugby already test hair and it’s the direction we should go in.’

The ECB issued a statement minutes after the jury of six women and four men had delivered their verdict in a case that has shaken English cricket, outlining a drugs policy that involves players being tested for recreational drugs. Until now, cocaine was only tested for during games, when it was deemed to act as a stimulant.

Ban it: Maynard's girlfriend was in attendance as the timeline to his death was put togetherBan it: Maynard's girlfriend was in attendance as the timeline to his death was put together

Ban it: Maynard's girlfriend was in attendance as the timeline to his death was put together



'While we accept that recreational drug use is part of modern society, we do not condone it and will take all reasonable steps to prevent its use within the game,' said the ECB.

'We also believe we have a responsibility to educate all our players and are committed to supporting any player who needs help in this area.

'Surrey began their own investigation into conduct at the end of last season and introduced a team-wide anti-drug policy which all players and management are required to abide by. Working in partnership with the ECB and PCA, further recommendations have been initiated.

'The ECB board have agreed to develop an out-of-competition testing programme to encompass recreational drugs, in co-operation with the PCA.

'These measures will supplement the ECB’s existing anti-doping programme which involves in and out-of-competition testing through UK Anti-Doping in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code and financial support which the ECB provides to the PCA for player education and support programmes.’


Stamp it out: The coroner believes players should be tested more regularly than they are

Stamp it out: The coroner believes players should be tested more regularly than they are


Stamp it out: The coroner believes players should be tested more regularly than they are



There have been rumours of a drink and drug culture at Surrey but Gould insisted that the club’s investigation was not prompted by those suspicions. ‘No,’ he said. ‘We looked at the broader picture of cricketers' conduct generally rather than at drugs specifically.

'We found that the incident involving Tom was isolated rather than a sign of a deeper problem at the club. It was a tragedy. He was a very fine young man. The incident does not define him.’

Emotion briefly overcame Maynard’s housemate and former Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown, who sobbed quietly at the start of the inquest as Maynard was praised for his humour and modesty. But Hamilton-Brown, who returned to his old club Sussex as a result of Maynard’s death, regained his composure to assert that he had no idea Maynard took recreational drugs.

Another close friend who drank with Maynard on the night he was killed, the England bowler Jade Dernbach, also flatly denied under oath all knowledge of Maynard’s habit. Dernbach said players could be tested ‘eight to 10 times some years’, although that does not fit with official figures.

Paying respects: England stars held a minute's silence during the ODI with West Indies last yearPaying respects: England stars held a minute's silence during the ODI with West Indies last year

  1. 2013/02/27(水) 15:41:54|
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