Brendan Taylor failed a drug test after his final international game in September 2021, and thinks he may have “beaten a few” more drugs tests in the two and a half years leading to that point.
On Monday, Taylor revealed that he had been filmed using cocaine during a meeting with alleged businessmen in India, who then used that video to try to blackmail him into an agreement to spot-fix. Taylor posted the details of that meeting with the corruptors on Twitter. He also said an ICC punishment for delaying reporting the approach was imminent.
Taylor, who checked into rehab for substance abuse today, told the Daily Mail of the failed drug test in Belfast, where Zimbabwe were playing Ireland in an ODI: “By then, I’d given up on cricket and where I was going in life. I locked myself in rooms for hours and hours and somehow managed to train with no sleep. If you live by the sword, I guess you die by the sword.”
He added: “I might have beaten a few tests in the past two-and-a-half years but it got me when I was heading for destruction.”
That ODI against Ireland was played on September 13, 2021. A day earlier, Taylor had said on Instagram that it would be his last.
Taylor had said on Twitter that he had made the trip to India thinking a businessman wanted to discuss sponsorships and “the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe”. In the interview, he expanded a little more on his meetings with the group, saying that they entertained him for three days and gifted him a mobile phone. It was on the final evening that the cocaine use occurred.
Of the next morning, when they turned up at his hotel room, he said: “Two bigger guys were always lurking, circling me. It felt very claustrophobic around my personal space. I was scared for my own safety. I’d fallen for it. I’d willingly walked into a situation that has changed my life for ever.”
He pointed once again to his circumstances at the time, with Zimbabwe’s cricketing future uncertain, and his own as a result, and that he had not been paid for six months. “I was six months with no salary, there were rumours we wouldn’t be allowed to play for two years, and all I was trying to do was put food on the table. Prepare for life after playing.
“That’s why I went. I’d told them on numerous occasions that if there was any skulduggery, they shouldn’t waste time in getting me over there. That I was not wired that way.”
Taylor spoke of his struggles with addiction in his original Twitter post and said he was due to check into a rehabilitation centre today. “l owe it to myself and to my family to get clean and to put them first,” he had said. “I have let a substance take control of me and impair my vision, my morals and my values and it is time that I prioritise what really matters.”
In August 2015, Taylor was found sleeping in a stranger’s car after a night out to celebrate a Nottinghamshire victory, with the police being called in. At that point, he was in England on a Kolpak deal, before returning to Zimbabwean cricket in late 2017.