ICC told Tharanga of dope flunk: SL sports ministry

Colombo: A day after a doping scandal rocked Sri Lankan cricket, the sports ministry on Monday confirmed that the ICC has informed opening batsman Upul Tharanga about flunking a random dope test conducted during the recent World Cup.

A sports ministry spokesman said that the ICC has informed Tharanga about the dope flunk and subsequently, minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage set up a three-member panel to inquire into the case.

However, Sri Lanka Cricket, the country`s governing body for the sport, is yet to be informed by the ICC about the dope flunk, the spokesman said.

The ICC is also yet to make the dope flunk official.

"The minister appointed the ministry secretary Udaya Seneviratne, Dr Geethanjana Mendis and Dr Maiya Gunasekera to investigate. They will be recording a statement from Tharanga," Harsha Abeykoon, the sports ministry media spokesman, said.

Apart from the sports secretary, the other two members are physicians with extensive experience of sports medicine.

26-year-old Tharanga tested positive for banned substance prednisolone — a drug for asthma, a condition from which he is said to suffer. He became the first Sri Lankan cricketer to have failed a dope test. He is also set to face an ICC inquiry.

Tharanga, a left-handed opening batsman, had a pretty good World Cup even scoring a century in the semifinal against England, but was not picked for the current tour of England.

He has said that a well-known medical practitioner, who had treated Indian stars Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra, prescribed the medicine containing the banned substance to him.