Sri Lanka confirm Upul Tharanga dope test positive

By Saroj PathiranaBBC Sinhala Service
Upul Tharanga poses with his kit
Tharanga opened the batting for Sri Lanka in the World Cup final

Sri Lanka's cricket authorities have confirmed that batsman Upul Tharanga tested positive for an unnamed banned substance during the World Cup.

The 26-year-old, who was left out of the Test squad to face England, will not be selected for any of the tour's limited-overs matches either.

Tharanga provided the offending urine sample after scoring 30 during his team's semi-final win over New Zealand.

A governmental inquiry into Tharanga's case has been launched in Sri Lanka.

Governing body Sri Lanka Cricket said it had received notification from the International Cricket Council over the failed test but the ICC itself refused to confirm this, in line with its normal policy of not commenting on doping cases.

The country's sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage ordered a three-member panel to investigate in May, after reports of he failed test first emerged.

Limited-overs specialist Tharanga, who has made 15 Test appearances alongside his 121 one-day internationals, would be the first cricketer from Sri Lanka to fall foul of cricket's doping regulations.

A spokesman for Sri Lanka Cricket told the BBC that Tharanga had taken medication for asthma "some time ago".

Under the International Cricket Council'sexternal-link code of conduct, every international player is personally responsible to ensure no prohibited substance enters their body.

Following their win over the Black Ferns in the last four, Sri Lanka fell short of repeating their 1996 World Cup success as hosts India chased down their target with 10 balls and six wickets to spare.

Tharanga had shared a record opening stand of 282 with current Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan in a 139-run win over Zimbabwe in the group stages.