Lorgat in the clear

  • Last Updated: March 13 2014, 11:45 GMT

Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat has been cleared of any blame following an investigation into his alleged role in the controversial comments made by David Becker about the Future Tours Programme schedule.

Haroon Lorgat: Cleared of any blame
Haroon Lorgat: Cleared of any blame

Becker, a former legal advisor to CSA and also a former International Cricket Council official, released a statement last October where he accused the Board of Control for Cricket in India of flouting rules surrounding the FTP.

The ICC, which announced on Thursday that Lorgat is in the clear, commissioned an independent investigation to look into media allegations about the CSA chief's involvement in the comments.

The adjudicator looked at whether Lorgat knew about the contents of Becker's statement prior to its distribution, and if he was involved in the preparation of the statement.

The inquiry also investigated whether Lorgat "attempted to persuade a number of different journalists on separate occasions to delay and/or withdraw the story/David Becker media statement by offering to do something for them in return, allegedly bribing and eventually threatening the journalists".

Following the conclusion of the investigation, the ICC stated that the report fully exonerated Lorgat.

An ICC statement read: "An independent adjudicator, appointed by the ICC to look into the content and distribution of media comments made about the ICC board by Mr David Becker, who at that time was acting as a legal consultant to Cricket South Africa in respect of their ongoing dispute over the FTP schedule, and the subsequent attempts to have them withdrawn, and, in particular, the role of Mr Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of CSA, in these matters has found no evidence to support the allegations made against Mr Lorgat."

The statement also confirmed that any restrictions on Lorgat to perform his role as CSA chief should be immediately removed.

Pending the outcome of the investigation, CSA had withdrawn Lorgat from representing it on the ICC's chief executive's committee and also from having any involvement in CSA's relationship with the BCCI.

Lorgat said: "With this unsavoury matter now behind us I look forward to getting on with the real challenges that we need to deal with.

"It was a costly but necessary exercise once the allegations were made. I am pleased it is now behind us and I must thank my board for their unequivocal support plus the many other people, including members of the public, who stood firm with me during this period."

CSA president Chris Nenzani welcomed Thursday's announcement, saying: "As we expected, all the allegations have been dismissed and the board would like to reiterate its full trust and confidence in Mr Lorgat as its chief executive.

"It is also clear that allegations and insinuations made against Mr Lorgat by certain journalists were unprofessional and do not fall within the bounds of fair or justifiable comment. I hope these individuals or their organisations will now have the courage to issue an apology to both Mr Lorgat and CSA."

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