Colombo: In what would come as a massive blow to Sri Lankan cricket, batsman Upul Tharanga reportedly tested positive for a banned substance during the recent World Cup and the ICC will hold an inquiry against the player soon.
The left-handed opener tested positive for a banned substance called Prednisolone prescribed to him by an alternate medical practitioner, the Sunday Times reported.
"The International Cricket Council (ICC) is due to hold an inquiry shortly into Tharanga being tested positive for using a banned substance during the recent World Cup tournament," the newspaper reported.
Tharanga scored an unbeaten century in the semi-final against England in Colombo before the Sri Lankan team finished runner-up in the event after losing the final to India in Mumbai.
"Lawyers have already been retained to defend Tharanga at the ICC inquiry," the newspaper said.
Tharanga has said that a well known medical practitioner, who had treated Indian stars Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra, prescribed the medicine containing the banned substance to him.
Prednisolone is used for a wide range of inflammatory and auto-immune conditions such as asthma and the 26-year-old has a history of asthma.
He has not been training for the past few days due to a knee problem and was not included in the Sri Lankan squad which is touring England right now.
Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has denied knowledge of Tharanga's failed dope test.
"Officially we know nothing about Tharanga's case. SLC has not received any complaints or reports about the use of the banned substance called Prednisolone from any organisation or agency," he said.
ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald too refused to clarify the matter.
"I have no comment to make about your inquiry. Sorry about that," he told the daily.