WICB, JCA support Russell
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) say they will stand by all-rounder AndrÈ Russell and offer any support they can to the cricketer following his one-year ban.
Russell was slapped with a 12-month sanction after he failed to file his whereabouts form, resulting in three missed doping tests. Under the World Anti-Doping Agency code, three missed doping tests equate to a failed test.
WICB's Corporate Communications Officer Carole Beckford said the board would not comment further until they received an official statement from the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission as to the terms of the ban, but confirmed the organisation's support.
"We will support Mr Russell in any way deemed appropriate ... . We don't know the details of it (ban). Some of them are conditional, but whatever is appropriate, the board stands with him," Beckford told The Gleaner.
WILL BE MISSED
JCA President Wilford 'Billy' Heaven added that the absence of Russell, an international T20 star who has had major impact for the West Indies and in the top T20 leagues around the world, will be felt.
"I think everyone would be disappointed. I saw AndrÈ last weekend in the semi-final of the AILO (local) competition and he was at his best, and we were all hoping to have him in the final this weekend.
"He is a prolific international cricketer and his absence on the field during this period in any competition whatsoever will undoubtedly impact the game. Fans, including myself, will miss his heroics on the field," Heaven said.
"But the JCA will stand by him and provide the support it can during this difficult time. I want to assure him that this is just a period in his career and by no means the end of the road, and he should use the positive elements of this unfortunate situation to make both himself and other young cricketers better," added Heaven.
The local cricket boss also believes the ban will have a massive effect on his earnings for the period.