FLORIDA, CMC- Globe-trotting T20 star Andre Russell has described doping allegations made against him by authorities in Jamaica as “stressing and depressing”.
The West Indies and Jamaica Tallawahs all-rounder has been charged by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) with committing an “anti-doping whereabouts” violation.JADCO claims Russell has missed three dope tests in a 12-month period, resulting in the violation of the whereabouts clause.
“It’s not easy, honestly, it’s tough,” Russell said in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo. “When I cross the rope, I definitely block it off my head but then when you go back to your room and you know you have to face reality and know that something is going on like that, it’s kind of stressing and depressing”.
Russell, who is commenting on the issue for the first time publicly, is in the United States for the Florida leg of the Caribbean Premier League which gets underway today. His lawyer Patrick Forster disputed JADCO’s claim during a hearing by an independent panel last week saying his client only received correspondence twice.
Forster claims that Russell has only received correspondence for the period January to March, 2015 and July to September, 2015 and has requested the Commission make available the third correspondence.
“I have an amazing bunch of guys around me. So they keep me occupied, they keep me laughing. I just think that is a very good thing to do while going through something like that,” said Russell. “Everything is in place. My lawyers are doing whatever they have to do so I don’t really want to have to talk about it that much.”
However, Russell has avoided direct comment on the issues arising from last week’s independent panel hearing in Jamaica. He and the Tallawahs are preparing for the final two games of the league stage of the CPL at Central Broward Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida.
“This is what we live for, to be on top of the table,” said Russell, 28, who helped West Indies to win the 2016 World T20 titles earlier this year. “We still have a few games to go. We’re still not going to take anything for granted. We’re going to try and play our best cricket so we can be in form going into the crucial games.”