Thu, Feb 28, 2013 - Page 19 News List

ECB vows drugs crackdown after rising star’s death

AFP, LONDON

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pledged to take all “reasonable steps” to stop players using recreational drugs following an inquest into the death of one the game’s rising stars on Tuesday.

Surrey batsman Tom Maynard, tipped as a future England international, was electrocuted on a railway line and struck by a train as he attempted to flee police while on drink and drugs.

Before he died in June last year, Maynard, the 23-year-old son of former Glamorgan and England batsman Matthew Maynard, had been stopped by police after his black Mercedes was seen driving erratically, but he then fled the vehicle, leaving the keys in the ignition.

A post-mortem examination revealed alcohol levels in his body nearly four times above the legal driving limit and that he had taken cocaine and ecstasy, in the form of MDMA, after a night out.

Surrey have since introduced an anti-drugs policy which all players and management must abide by.

Following a verdict of accidental death reached on Tuesday by the inquest at Westminster Coroner’s Court, the ECB and Surrey issued a join statement announcing plans to test for recreational drugs.

“In the light of today’s [Tuesday’s] verdict, ECB and Surrey CCC would like to reiterate that this incident was a terrible human tragedy and again extend our condolences to the Maynard family, and to Tom Maynard’s many friends and colleagues within the professional game,” the statement said.

“While the ECB accepts that recreational drug use is a part of modern society, we do not condone it and will take all reasonable steps to prevent its use within the game. We also believe we have a responsibility to educate all our players and are committed to supporting any player who needs help in this area,” it said.

“The ECB board has recently agreed to develop an out-of-competition testing program to encompass recreational drugs, in cooperation with the PCA [Professional Cricketers’ Association],” it added. “These measures will supplement ECB’s existing anti-doping program.”

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