PCA Statement To Birmingham Post – 01/06/2005 Statement from Richard Bevan, group chief executive, Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), in response to queries over roles and responsibilities following Keith Piper’s positive test for recreational drugs use. There has been significant public and media interest in Keith Piper’s positive test for cannabis and the decision by the England & Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) disciplinary committee to ban him for four months. Following a recent report in the Birmingham Post, the PCA would like to make it clear that it does not hold Warwickshire County Cricket Club responsible for the situation Keith has found himself in. And while in cases such as these the game’s stakeholders, that is the counties, the governing body and the players’ union, must examine the effectiveness of their shared role in implementing drugs policy, it is ultimately the player, who, in an era of heightened awareness of what constitutes a breach of the rules, must shoulder greatest blame. Instances of drug misuse among players are minimal and we feel the work of the counties, the ECB and the PCA has made an impact. In the past couple of years we have drawn increasingly a distinction in our respective responsibilities to players, firstly to educate and more latterly to help manage behaviour. The PCA is now geared to work more closely with the counties to educate and rehabilitate players where necessary and we see this as a key tenet of the service we provide, complementing assistance for players with any number of problems, including employment law, debt, health, or career management. In Keith’s case we feel that the county has played its part in helping the player to manage the problems in his personal life. Following his punishment, Keith’s has only just come to terms with his situation and really begun accepting help. The PCA is working closely and constructively with Warwickshire to ensure his rehabilitation and to help him achieve his future playing and coaching aspirations.