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Shane Warne- the fallout

In the aftermath of Shane Warne’s 12-month ban from both international and domestic cricket of all levels it seems just a touch petty to prohibit him from training with the Victorian team.

While from what I have heard there are conflicting views over whether Warne is in fact able to train with the Victorian team or not, speculation aside, and straight to the point – Warne should be allowed to train, and train as much as he likes.

Shane Warne, the greatest spin bowler to grace the cricketing arena, is not a “drug cheat” and by his own admission never has or will be.

ACB head honcho James Sutherland has reportedly backed Warne in declaring he is not a ‘drug cheat’ more recently, and so it seems crazy that Warney be treated as such in light of the fact that the drug he used could not possibly enhance his performance in any way.

While he was banned for 12-months for using the banned diuretic and has openly admitted that he was using the drug, a “fluid tablet,” for aesthetic purposes, banning him from training is taking it one step too far.

The whole point of drugs in sport is obviously to improve your performance and an athlete taking such drugs to improve their performance is the situation the governing body is attempting to eliminate.

Shane Warne clearly does not fit under this category as he was not trying to improve his performance.

However, Warne was taking a drug which reportedly could be used to ‘mask’ performance enhancing drugs and so was in turn banned for use of the diuretic.

The above is all patently clear, and so it baffling that so many so readily want to knock Warne and dismiss him as a drug cheat just trying to get back from his shoulder injury, without giving a moments consideration for what has occurred here. Warne claims he’s a victim of “anti doping hysteria” or something along those lines, and I’m inclined to believe him.

We mustn’t forget why drug codes and so on were introduced in the first place. All too easily many amongst us get caught up with it all and start to believe the hard liners who come up with irrelevant statements in regard to Chinese swimmers and generalisations that Australian’s come down too hard on others who use drugs but not ‘our own kind,’ if you like.

Never have I heard something so ridiculous (I lie…I have seen the anti-terrorism advertisements many times).

Ultimately the Australian public and our views or natural instinct you might say, to protect our own, has no bearing whatsoever on any punishment dished out. Every case should be treated on its merits and punishments and action taken, adjusted in accordance with this.

Unfortunately in the case of Shane Warne this common sense approach has not been used. Instead, the ACB panel that deliberated on the Warne case have gone for a soft and moderate punishment and have seemingly bowed to international pressure.

Those who breach the so-called drug code, but do so ‘innocently’, and there have been many cases across a wide array of sports in recent years, should not be banned from professional competition.

Of course, every case is different, however unless someone has continually taken a banned substance (one that doesn’t improve performance) and has done so knowingly, the sportsperson should certainly not be banned if it has been an innocent mistake, as seems the case with Warne.

The issue of contention following all this controversy which has arisen has been in relation to whether or not Warney can train with the Bushrangers.

From a spectators point of view I can’t see any problem with it at all. It’s just training, practice, the same as going down to the park and turning the arm over a few times, but to better batsman, depending on which park you go to I guess…but nevertheless it’s not like a real match situation and it would enable Warne to keep fit, and hopefully keep some semblance of form.

If Shane Warne is not allowed to train I fear we may not see Warney at his best again, and that would be a real tragedy for the cricketing world. I can understand that people would call Warney “naive” or even “stupid.”

Perhaps, he was one of those, perhaps both. However, it’s all too easy these days to knock characters like Warney. If Warne has nothing else on his side but cricketing ability, he has character, and this is certainly something that shouldn’t be scoffed at so eagerly.

Obviously he’s made his mistakes, the more publicised ones those arising from incidents off the field, yet Warne possesses something on the cricket field which many players dream of.

He has this mystique about him, a kinda unforgiving grit, and a sorta down to earth rebel toughness with the courage to go through with it. It’s easy to knock people when they’re down.

But if you think of Warney as the champ of a bowler who was out on the cricket field, as I’d prefer to do, you’ll be thinking about a legend of the sport, someone who has revolutionised spin bowling.

Without characters like Shane Warne wouldn’t cricket get just a little boring…a little dull?

‘Everyone makes mistakes,’ or at least that’s what they say. When it comes to someone who’s made a few of them though, things get blurred very quickly, and stupid decisions are made.

Two stupid decisions have been made here. One was by Shane Warne; the other was by the ACB ‘drug panel.’

Please…get some common sense people…and no more stupid decisions any time soon. Because that would just be…well…stupid.

What do you think- did the Drug Panel smoke some ganja before sentencing Warnie or was the right decision made. I welcome your comments below.
Mon 10/03/2003 Andrew White 199 views

8 Comments about this article

  • No the right decision wasn't made - he should have gotten the maximum sentence. We can't take the soft line on him just because he's an Aussie & a great cricketer! I can't believe that anyone has fallen for his story of making a mistake. He's a profession

    Posted by Sue Keen Tue Mar 25, 2003 06:37pm AEST
  • I agree - there must be consistency between all countries, however the drug code was designed to catch those who are deliberately and fraudulently cheating the system and their colleagues, to enhance their performance, not to catch out those who innocentl

    Posted by Andrew White Sat Mar 29, 2003 02:52pm AEST
  • (continued)..innocently made stupid mistakes. Shane warne should not be punished because of his past. I'm not his biggest fan, but just because he's a proffesional criketer doesn't mean he doesn't make mistakes.

    Posted by Andrew White Sat Mar 29, 2003 03:06pm AEST
  • You're right - being a professional athlete doesn't mean you can no longer make mistakes, but to make a mistake like that?? It's a bit like Gordon Gecko saying that he didn't know insider trading was illegal! Their careers depend on them knowing this sort

    Posted by Sue Keen Tue Apr 01, 2003 08:01pm AEST
  • (cont'd) of thing about drugs. Not trying to be argumentative though, just giving my opinion.

    Posted by Sue Keen Tue Apr 01, 2003 08:02pm AEST
  • nah...fair enough - i'm only giving my opinion also. He should have known better- i just think it's harsh that's all.

    Posted by Andrew White Thu Apr 10, 2003 11:33am AEST
  • I agree with Sue. He should have got 2 years. Not that you believe anything that high-profile people say, but his story was full of inconsistencies and changed many times. If he had of told the truth straight away and been consistent, I may have had so

    Posted by Valerio Dibattista Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:24am AEST
  • (cont'd) some symapthy for him. From my experience, the public never knows even 20% of the truth. I admire your support for him just the same though.

    Posted by Valerio Dibattista Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:26am AEST

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