Brendan Taylor banned, ICC, match-fixing saga

Former Zimbabwe cricket captain Brendan Taylor was banned for three and half years for breaching anti-corruption and anti-doping rules after he failed to report a match-fixing approach and tested positive for cocaine.

The International Cricket Council said Taylor admitted to four charges under the anti-corruption code stemming from an incident in 2019 when he said he accepted just over $21,000 from businessmen in India, who asked him to fix international games.

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Taylor claimed he took the money but never fixed any games.

Taylor also was found guilty of an anti-doping offence after testing positive for the stimulant Benzoylecognine, which is a cocaine metabolite.

He tested positive after a one-day international against Ireland in September, the ICC said. Taylor retired from international cricket after that series.

Taylor announced the ICC ban was coming in a personal statement earlier this week when he said he had been tricked into meeting with businessmen in India three years ago on the pretence that they wanted to discuss a “sponsorship opportunity” for him.

Taylor said he was offered cocaine at a dinner with the businessmen and they then used a secret video of him using the drug to blackmail him into becoming a match-fixer for them. Taylor said he took the cash so he could get out of the situation but never fixed.

However, he didn’t report the incident to the ICC’s anti-corruption unit for four months.

“I was cornered. And with (six) of these individuals in my hotel room, I was scared for my own safety,” he wrote in a lengthy statement he posted on Twitter.

“I’d fallen for it. I’d willingly walked into a situation that has changed my life forever.”

The 35-year-old Taylor also admitted he had a problem with cocaine and said he was going to check into a rehabilitation centre this week.

The ICC banned him for 3 and a half years for breaching the anti-corruption code and one month for the doping offence, which will run concurrently.

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