Cricket: Jesse Ryder says he took a contaminated weight-loss supplement
Jesse Ryder is adamant he made an innocent mistake when he took the supplement which caused him to fail a drug test.
Last Updated: 20/08/13 11:28am
Ryder returned a positive sample after playing for Wellington on 24 March but says he took a weight-loss supplement which was contaminated or mislabelled.
His explanation has been accepted by the New Zealand Sports Tribunal and so he has been given a six-month ban rather than the maximum punishment of two years.
The ban has also been back-dated to April, so Ryder will be available for the domestic season in New Zealand.
Even so, the 29-year-old says he is "devastated" about the ban and added: "It's pretty gutting, having to go through all this after doing research and finding out that there are no banned substances in it.
"When you then buy the product, it's disappointing to have to go through all this and fail a drug test."
Asked why he had taken the supplement, he said: "To control my weight really through the season, it did fluctuate a bit.
"I wasn't training as much and not looking after myself as well, so I thought it would be a good time to get on top of it.
"My weight has been a public issue for a while and it's something I'm always trying to sort out. I only used them a handful of times and didn't notice much of a difference at all.
"I researched it (the supplement) and found nothing, and my trainer checked it with the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) app.
"He said 'check again, make sure' and he never said 'take them', so the fault was mine, nothing to do with him.
"All that research and then to find out it was a contaminated batch. There's not much else I could have done, unless I go and test them out myself. As an athlete, you don't even think of stuff like that until it's happened."
Ryder will be able to resume his career on 19 October, having not played professional since he was assaulted and seriously injured outside a Christchurch bar on 27 March.
And he has not represented New Zealand in any format for over 18 months, having decided to take an indefinite break from international cricket in March last year.