The death of a promising English cricketer has highlighted concerns about the use of recreational drugs by athletes and whether testing in the sport is rigorous enough.
Nine months after Tom Maynard's body was found on a London rail track, a coroner's report presented yesterday at an inquest showed that he had cocaine and Ecstasy in his system.
The 23-year-old batsman suffered multiple injuries caused by the impact of a train and from touching a live electric railway line after coming on to the track near Wimbledon Park station at 5 a.m. An hour earlier, Maynard had fled his car after being stopped by police at the end of a night of heavy drinking with fellow cricketers in a pub and nightclub in the capital.
A week before his death, Maynard was disciplined by his county cricket club, Surrey, after being injured in an alcohol-related incident.
Daily drug use
Post-mortem tests indicated that Maynard might have been a daily user of drugs in the three and half months before his death.
After a jury at Westminster Coroner's Court ruled that Maynard's death was accidental, the coroner called for more steps to be taken by sports clubs to identify drug users, including the analysis of hair samples.
Surrey teammate Jade Dernbach, who was one of the last people to see Maynard alive, told the hearing that some players might only be drug tested once a year.
Now, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is taking action to clamp down on drug taking.
The ECB is developing an out-of-competition testing programme to encompass recreational drugs, having previously focused on combatting the use of performance enhancers.