Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday withdrew disciplinary charges against Sri Lankan batsman Kusal Perera and lifted the provisional suspension imposed on him for doping.
“Perera is, therefore, now free to return to domestic and international cricket without restriction and with immediate effect,” the ICC said in a statement.
The ICC made the decision after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory in Qatar withdrew its original Adverse Analytical Finding following further investigations.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardsons said: “We are seeking an urgent explanation from WADA and the laboratory in an attempt to understand what has transpired and what will be done to ensure it does not happen again.
“No evidence that Perera has cheated through the use of performance enhancing substances.
“We wish to make it clear that there is no evidence that Perera has ever used performance-enhancing substances and we wish him well in his future cricketing endeavours.”
In November 2015, the WADA-accredited laboratory in Qatar reported to the ICC that urine samples collected out-of-competition from Perera had tested positive for 19-Norandrostenedione, an anabolic steroid prohibited under WADA’s prohibited list.
Since then Perera was involved in a legal fight with the ICC on the suspension.
The withdrawal is the result of a sustained challenge from Perera’s legal team, which according to the ICC “in a recent letter” had “suggested for the first time that the Qatar laboratory might have misidentified impurities in the samples”.
As part of those efforts, the ICC sought further information from the Qatar laboratory and granted various extensions of time to the player’s legal team to allow it to carry out additional analysis and investigation.