Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has been banned from international cricket until July 2025 after his late reporting of a spot-fixing plot.
The 35-year-old's three-and-a-half-year punishment was confirmed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday, after Taylor gave early notice of his fate in a statement at the start of the week.
Taylor said on Monday that he had been blackmailed by an Indian businessman, who paid him $15,000 to travel to India in 2019 to discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe.
Wicketkeeper-batter Taylor stated that he "foolishly took the bait" when he was offered cocaine on a night out for a celebratory dinner with the businessman and his colleagues after concluding discussions.
Taylor says he was "cornered" the following morning when six people "stormed into" his hotel room to show a video of him taking cocaine and say the footage would be made public if he refused to spot-fix in international matches.
Taylor said he was handed $15,000 as a "deposit" for spot-fixing and was told another $20,000 would be paid once the "job" was complete.
Although Taylor has insisted he never spot-fixed, a four-month delay in reporting the episode to the ICC has been his undoing.
He admitted to breaching three aspects of the ICC anti-corruption code relating to delayed disclosure, and one of "obstructing or delaying" an investigation.
To my family, friends and supporters. Here is my full statement. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/sVCckD4PMV— Brendan Taylor (@BrendanTaylor86) January 24, 2022
Taylor said in his statement on Monday: "I may be many things but I am not a cheat."
He said he would be heading to a rehabilitation centre to "get clean" after admitting he has a drugs problem.
Taylor tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine after Zimbabwe's match against Ireland on September 8 2021, and the ICC said he had accepted a one-month ban for that offence, having taken the drug out of competition and with it having no relation to his performance.
Taylor will be eligible to return to cricket from July 28 2025, by which time he will be 39 years old. ICC integrity unit general manager Alex Marshall said Taylor "knew exactly what his obligations were" in regard to corruption and doping, and said it was "disappointing that a player of his experience chose not to fulfil those obligations".