ZIMBABWE Cricket might be facing a bigger drug problem following revelations that two senior players — Wessly Madhevere and Brandon Mavuta — have been suspended, effectively ruling them out of the tour of Sri Lanka next month.
As Dave Houghton tendered his resignation as Chevrons coach on Tuesday, the issue of drug abuse was being attributed to his statement that he had lost the dressing room.
It was revived yesterday following the sanctions on Madhevere and Mavuta.
ZC announced Madhevere and Mavuta, both tested positive for a banned recreational drug in an out-of-competition case recorded during a recent in-house doping test.
They were immediately suspended from all cricket activities, pending a hearing, for allegedly breaching anti-doping rules and they have been charged under the ZC Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials and will appear for a disciplinary hearing soon.
What is worrying for ZC authorities is there seems to be a bigger problem of drugs in the game as there have been two separate drug cases this year along.
A senior player’s sudden retirement from the game this year has also been linked to drugs.
In March, ZC announced that they had suspended two emerging players for three months for using a recreational drug in an out-of-competition case.
Unlike Madhevere and Mavuta who were named, the two emerging players were not named to allow for a smooth rehabilitation.
However, they were summoned to appear for a disciplinary hearing after they were reported to ZC by a concerned citizen who caught them red-handed partaking in suspected substance abuse within the premises of a private residential complex.
They admitted to using a social drug on the day in question, resulting in each one of them receiving a three-month ban from cricket activities for breaching the ZC Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials under which they were charged.
It was noted that had they committed the offence in competition, they would have been charged under ZC’s anti-doping rules and attracted stiffer sanctions, including a ban of up to two years.
Former captain Brendan Taylor confessed to drug abuse following his fall from grace in 2021, forcing him into sudden retirement to pre-empt ICC, who had started an internal process to sanction him over match fixing.
“I owe it to myself and to my family to get clean and to put them first,” he said. “I have let a substance take control of me and impair my vision, my morals and my values and it is time that I prioritise what really matters.”