Vaughan backs more testing

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FORMER England captain Michael Vaughan says increased testing of players for recreational drugs will frighten anyone still using them.

This week’s inquest into last summer’s death of Surrey’s Tom Maynard returned an accidental verdict, although it emerged from his post-mortem he was driving nearly four times over the legal limit and had taken cocaine and ecstasy in the form of MDMA.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) responded by saying they would step up their testing programmes - something Vaughan believes needs to happen.

He said: “There will be players in cricket who have taken recreational drugs and are still doing it, but I hope Tom Maynard’s tragic story will make them stop.

“There are around 400 professional cricketers in England and it would be naive to think Tom’s is an isolated case. There are bound to be more who have taken drugs in the past or are still doing it now. The ECB is going to introduce more testing for recreational drugs and that will frighten a few into cleaning up their acts.”

Sheffield’s Vaughan also believes that Surrey’s players, who were so badly affected by losing a teammate part-way through the season, will be better served to have experienced heads around them next season.

“There was a lack of those players at Surrey 12 months ago but next summer they will have Graeme Smith and Ricky Ponting,” he said.

Former Arsenal and England defender Tony Adams has revealed in the wake of Maynard’s death that other professional cricketers are being treated at his Sporting Chance clinic.

Adams revealed cricketers are being treated at the clinic, which he established following his own battle with alcohol addiction, and called on associations to “take responsibility” and look after players’ welfare.

He said: “We are already putting cricketers through the Sporting Chance Clinic, rugby players, jockeys. Denial is strong in some other associations but all in good time, when they are ready.

“The PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) are taking responsibility. The RFL (Rugby Football League) are taking responsibility. They are recognising it and if you do want help, there are places where you can go now. That’s a big change.”