Colombo - Sri Lanka's sports minister
defended on Wednesday wicketkeeper Kusal Perera who was suspended from the on-going
New Zealand tour after failing a drugs test, hinting at a conspiracy against
Dayasiri Jayasekera told parliament that
authorities will send a "B" sample for testing after the
International Cricket Council announced last week that Perera tested positive
for a banned steroid during a random check.
"We are doing all we can to defend
him," the minister said. "We are wondering if this allegation is a
conspiracy to keep him out of next year's T20 World Cup."
Defending champions Sri Lanka are
contenders to retake the title when the World T20 takes place from March to
April in India next year.
Jayasekera said Sri Lankan President
Maithripala Sirisena had spoken to Perera who was abruptly pulled from the
series in New Zealand involving two Tests, five ODI games and two T20 matches.
Perera is Sri Lanka's second international
player to fail a doping test. Left-hander Upul Tharanga was suspended for three
months after testing positive during the 2011 World Cup.
Tharanga blamed a "herbal remedy"
that he had taken for a long-standing shoulder injury for failing the doping