REUTERS: Afghanistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad has been banned for 12 months after inadvertently ingesting a prohibited substance, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday.
The 29-year-old underwent an out-of-competition test in Dubai in January and his sample was found to contain clenbuterol, classified as a non-specified substance under the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Prohibited List.
Clenbuterol, used by sufferers of breathing disorders such as asthma, is banned in and out-of-competition.
Shahzad pleaded guilty to the violation and the ICC accepted he had "inadvertently ingested the substance as a contaminant of a weight loss product he was taking, Hydroxycut", the governing body said in a statement on its website. (www.icc-cricket.com)
The ban has been backdated to his sample collection on Jan 17, 2017 and he can return to cricket on Jan 17, 2018.
"Today's announcement... reminds all international cricketers that they remain personally responsible for ensuring that anything they eat, drink or put into their bodies does not result in an anti-doping rule violation," ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice said.
"It further serves as a reminder to all international cricketers of the dangers and risks associated with taking supplements.
"Before thinking about taking a supplement, cricketers should weigh up the risks and dangers of doing so and should fully research the supplement in question so they can make an informed decision."
Shahzad has played 58 one-day internationals and 58 T20s for Afghanistan.
(Writing by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)