Sri Lanka’s Farveez Maharoof insisted on Sunday that reports Upul Tharanga had failed a dope test had had no impact upon the squad touring England.
The Sri Lankan 'Sunday Times' said left-handed opening batsman Tharanga, not selected for the tour of England, had failed a random dope test during the recent World Cup.
Tharanga has already retained a lawyer to defend himself at an upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) inquiry, the 'Sunday Times' said, quoting unnamed sources.
Maharoof, asked after the fourth day’s play in the first Test against England in Cardiff here on Sunday if the reports concerning Tharanga had been a distraction, replied: “Not at all. We didn’t speak about it as a team. It hasn’t been a distraction.
“We are here to do a job... and are not bothered about what’s going on outside,” the all-rounder said.
Maharoof added the 26-year-old Tharanga, renowned as more of a one-day than a Test player, was a “nice guy”, saying: “He’s a nice guy, a quiet guy. He’s an established opening batsman in our team and he’s a genuine guy.”
The Sri Lankan 'Sunday Times' said Tharanga has claimed that he was given a steroid by a faith healer in Colombo who also treated other international players.
“There’s nothing I can say at this stage,” ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald told AFP in an email response to the report.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the sport’s national governing body, said it was unaware of any failed dope test.
“We have not been informed of any allegation like this,” SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said.
Tharanga opened against England in the World Cup semifinals and scored an unbeaten century as Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets. He then played in the final, where Sri Lanka lost to India.