The ICC has denied that Sri Lanka Cricket had asked that the costs involved in the Kusal Perera doping case be reimbursed, and it said it had not agreed to compensate the board. Hours before the ICC’s denial, a SLC official claimed the ICC had said verbally that it would compensate the board.
“The ICC can confirm that it has not received any request for compensation from SLC or Mr Perera and it has not agreed (verbally or otherwise) to any such reimbursement,” the ICC said. “Whilst the circumstances of this case are unfortunate, the ICC does not accept that it is responsible for the finding of the WADA-accredited Qatar Laboratory or the consequences that flowed from such a finding, and the ICC will be considering its own position in respect of who should bear the costs incurred by the ICC in its additional efforts and investigation that ultimately resulted in the Laboratory agreeing to withdraw the original finding.”
The statement contradicted SLC secretary Mohan de Silva, who had said: “The ICC has agreed to compensate us, but there is nothing in writing. In any case we will be making an appeal for that. I’m quite confident that they will oblige us.”
De Silva had said it was SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala who was in direct contact with ICC about the reimbursement. Speaking on the amount SLC had spent on the case, Sumathipala had said on Thursday that SLC “definitely have to get our costs back.”
SLC had said it spent over 13 million Sri Lankan rupees (USD $92,000 approx) on clearing Perera’s name, though the board did not quite need the 15 million it had set aside to fight the case.
In addition to fees paid to Perera’s UK-based lawyers Morgan Sports Law, SLC also helped fund a polygraph test and separate urine test conducted in London, as well as a hair analysis conducted in a Paris lab. Each of these measures is said to have helped give Perera leverage with the ICC.
Perera himself suggested he was not dwelling on the suspension’s personal cost to him, but board president Sumathipala had said the “indirect cost” to Perera had been “colossal”. In addition to missing a full tour of New Zealand, a bilateral series against India, and two major tournaments in the Asia Cup and World T20, Perera was also ineligible for the IPL auction. He had been fixture in all three formats for Sri Lanka prior to the suspension.
SLC’s executive committee had not made a firm decision on further legal action, but de Silva confirmed discussions were ongoing in the board about “how to compensate Kusal”.
The Qatar-based lab, whose findings were deemed “unsustainable” for “scientific and technical reasons” by the independent expert hired by the ICC, may come under scrutiny. However, that expert had also stated the lab had “correctly identified 19-Norandrostenedione in the samples” taken from Perera.
Perera has resumed his training with SLC coaches at Khettarama, after five months of being barred from doing so. He may be in the fray for the limited-overs leg of Sri Lanka’s tour of the UK and Ireland.
2015 Kashmir Despatch