West Indies power hitter Andre Russell, who plies his trade for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has recalled the turmoil of 2017 when he was banned for a year concerning the doping-code violation.
Russell talked about his worst year of his professional career in a video uploaded by KKR on their official YouTube channel. The Jamaican expressed how some people suspected him of using drugs because of his supreme athleticism.
“2017 was one of the worst years of my career. You know, getting banned [while] being on the top of my game, hitting the ball cleaner than ever. People [were] trying to prove a point because I wasn’t hiding from anyone. I was doing a test everywhere I played,” said Russell.
“Because with me hitting the ball over 100 meters, bowling 140 plus from a short run, people start to question if I am using drugs or whatever. And I used to know everything to do in terms of a drug test. I knew how to release and move the label; no one had to show me anything. It was like putting on a shoe,” he added.
Russell was referring to a time when he was trying to cement his place in KKR. In 2016, the all-rounder scored 188 runs from 8 innings at a strike rate of 164.91 and bagged 15 wickets as well in the season.
Russell also shared his experiences in court. He alleged falsehood and claimed that a woman deliberately lied about him in court just to drag him down.
“And they hit me, hit me hard. It was crazy. They went again, and they appealed the case for two years, and that’s when the government and other people got involved. People said they have met me and spoke to me when that was the first time I saw those people. And it’s such a wicked world we live in. Because when someone takes the Bible and say, “I swear….”, I say ok, there’s no way this woman or man will lie because I respect the Bible,” revealed Russell.
“[She] looked dead in my eye and said that she sat down with me and discussed the rules and regulations about JADCO (Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission). And I gave an outburst in court. I said, ‘Me? I have never seen you in my life. And I wasn’t lying. I had never seen that woman,” Russell asserted.
After all the mess, Russell came back strongly as he amassed 316 runs in IPL 2018 at a strike rate of 184.80. He continued the momentum and absolutely dominated the 2019 season. The all-rounder scored 510 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of 204.82.