sport

Drugs don't work - Morgan

England batsman Eoin Morgan does not see cricket as susceptible to performance enhancing drugs.

Although currently on tour in India, Morgan was among those who tuned on Friday morning to see disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong confess to his doping past in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Cricket has had its share of recreational drug takers over the years, but has been largely free of performance-related cases.

It has been said that success in the sport is too heavily reliant on skills rather than physical strength to be at serious risk, though there are obvious concerns that doping could lead to players being able to work longer, harder and more often on those skills.

For his part Morgan sides with the sceptics.

Asked on the eve of the third one-day international against India whether he was concerned about an Armstrong-like saga emerging in cricket, he said: "No, absolutely not.

"Maybe the bats are getting injected with something but I don't think the players are. Not at all.

"Performance-enhancing drugs are obviously massively condemned and they should be eradicated from every sport.

"But if there was ever a sport where there is no case for performance-enhancing drugs, it's cricket."

That has not stopped the International Cricket Council becoming a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency, something the game's governing body did in July 2006.

The ICC and all of its members boards are now fully aligned to WADA with a mission statement on the subject that reads: "The ICC Anti-Doping Code, compliant with the WADA Code, ensures cricket plays its part in the global fight against drugs in sport."

As a result the organisation is committed to testing at all ICC recognised matches and tournaments, as well as implementing a 'whereabouts' policy which requires registered international and national players to submit extensive details of their out-of-competition movements.

Morgan has first-hand experience of the ICC's commitment to a clean game and is confident it is a sufficient model.

"In the last year or so I have been tested five or six times," he said.

"The process by which we are tested, we need to diary everywhere we are and when we are involved in cricket, so we can be tested any time of the day anywhere in the world.

"It is a massive hassle for me if I want to do something out of cricket. I have to change my diary if someone wants to come and test me, wherever I am.

"I think it is well monitored in cricket, at least the way I understand it."

Despite Morgan's position on the subject, he has a certain sympathy for the cyclists and cycling fans who have seen the Armstrong story come its shocking conclusion.

He was part of the England side that played Pakistan in the 2010 Test series that will forever be remembered for the actions that eventually saw Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir convicted of spot-fixing.

As such he regrets any actions that compromise sporting integrity.

"It drags your sport through the mud," he said.

"I was there when all the Pakistan stuff kicked off and it wasn't nice to be a part of, the sport you love was being dragged through the mud."