New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder said a weight-loss supplement which was either contaminated or mislabelled led to him to returning a positive sample after playing for Wellington in March. Ryder is serving a six-month ban effective from April.
The 29-year-old left-hander said he was "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."
Ryder's explanation was accepted by the New Zealand Sports Tribunal. The maximum two-year ban was reduced to six months. Ryder will now be available for the domestic season in New Zealand.
Ryder said he took the supplement to control weight. "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 October 19, having not played professional cricket since he was assaulted and seriously injured outside a Christchurch bar on March 27.
The burly batsman 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.