Yorkshire batter Gary Ballance denies failing recreational drugs test 8 months ago

Yorkshire batter Gary Ballance denies failing recreational drugs test

Ballance previously admitted he used racist language about Rafiq's Pakistani heritage

Former England batter Gary Ballance has denied an allegation that he failed a recreational drugs test at Yorkshire.

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In his witness statement about racism at Yorkshire, Ballance's former team-mate Azeem Rafiq claimed that the club had "protected Ballance with respect to his drug and alcohol issues".

Rafiq - who was speaking at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee hearing on Tuesday - also stated that instead of informing the public, Yorkshire would instead claim that he was missing games because of mental health issues.

However, a representative for Ballance has denied the specific allegations that have been made. 

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The 30-year-old Rafiq gave a witness statement as part of his employment tribunal against Yorkshire, which was published after he spoke to the DCMS select committee.

The former bowler was speaking about his experiences of racism during his two spells at the club. 

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"Over the years, YCCC protected Gary Balance with respect to his drug and alcohol issues, allowing him to miss drug hair sample tests to avoid sanctions," the statement read.

"When he failed a recreational drug test and was forced to miss some games, the club informed the public he was missing games because he was struggling with anxiety and mental health issues."

Speaking on Tuesday, Rafiq said the atmosphere became "toxic" after Ballance took over as captain at Yorkshire, desiring his former team-mates' behaviour as disgusting.

After previously admitting that he used racist language about Rafiq's Pakistani heritage towards him, Ballance said he "deeply regrets" the language he used.

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