Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette
Three of Bermuda's top cricketers are now facing lengthy suspensions for failing mandatory senior national team drugs scans, The Royal Gazette can reveal.
The trio, all of whom featured in last year's Cup Match classic, had been invited to train for Bermuda's Stanford 20/20 squad but were omitted after it was discovered they had failed drugs scans.
And, in accordance to Bermuda Council for Drug Free Sport's (BCDS) rigid drug testing policies, the penalty for failing drugs tests at the national level carries a minimum one-year ban.
"If any athlete has tested positive with us we then send a portion of the specimen to the Government lab for confirmation. And if it is confirmed positive they then get a one year infraction," BCDS program director Cathy Belvedere explained.
It is understood two of the three players who failed the tests represented Somerset in last year's mid-summer classic while the other is a prominent member of Cup Match champions St.George's Cricket Club who also has previous experience at the national youth and senior levels.
When contacted yesterday Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) president Reggie Pearman stated: "All of the players (national team) were tested, but unfortunately not everyone cleared the process which has policies in place that all national bodies must adhere to.
"All of the players knew what was required of them and what the consequences were."
Drug testing at the national level is a requirement of the Bermuda Government, with the BCDS having been appointed in 2004 as the national anti-doping organisation.
However, under the BCDS' standard operating procedures, the trio can appeal against their bans or agree to specific terms that will enable them to resume playing sport at the domestic level solely.
"They can apply for the domestic application whereas they won't be able to represent Bermuda during that year but can go back to playing gymnastics, football, cricket or whatever sport they are involved in," Belvedere added. "They would also have to agree to some counselling, but that's only if there's a positive find."
It is understood two of the three cricketers actually tested positive while the other is suspected of attempting to mask a banned substance.
The BCDS, meanwhile, is a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which was formed to promote, coordinate and monitor at the international level the fight against doping in sport in all its forms.
And as part of its mandate to foster a doping-free culture in sport, WADA combines the resources of sports and governments to enhance, supplement and coordinate existing efforts to educate athletes about the harms of doping, reinforce the ideals of fair play and sanction those who cheat themselves and their respective sport.