Ryder banned for six months after testing positive

Wellington, Aug 20 (IANS) Troubled New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder Tuesday was been banned for six months after testing positive for a banned substance.

Ryder, who had a past history of alcoholism, was slapped with the suspension by the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand. He had tested positive for two prohibited substances contained in the weight-loss product Gaspari Detonate.

The decision comes as a big set-back for Ryder, who was assaulted outside a Christchurch bar March 28, after having played his last game against Christchurch.

Ryder, however, will not miss any first-class cricket for his new team Otago, as the retrospective ban ends Oct 19, before the new season starts.

"I'm devastated by this situation. I've never taken drugs and to be in this situation distresses me greatly. I simply took the supplement alongside a training programme I was completing to help me lose weight," Ryder said in a statement released by the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA).

"I have attended anti-doping education seminars during my time in cricket and am a strong supporter of Drug Free Sport New Zealand.

"I'm aware of the precautions you need to take; I did take steps to check the supplement but ultimately it was my responsibility and I accept that," he said.

"Whilst everyone is aware of my well documented battles with alcohol, it's important for me to state that I abhor drug use of any kind, both recreational and performance-enhancing in sport.''

Ryder underwent routine drug tests conducted here at the Basin Reserve March 24, after Wellington's match against Northern Districts. Prohibited substances N-alpha-diethyl-benzeneethanamine (DEBEA) and 1-phenylbutan-2-amine (PBA) were found in Ryder's sample.

Ryder was informed April 12 and appeared in a hearing with the Sports Tribunal earlier this month.

The tribunal said: "It was more than comfortably satisfied that Mr. Ryder's taking of the two capsules on 19 March 2013 was without any intent at all to enhance sports performance in the cricket game which he subsequently took part in on 24 March 2013".

"In his testing declaration he disclosed that he had taken two tablets of Tramadol in the days prior to the test," the tribunal said.