Troubled cricketer Jesse Ryder has been banned from the sport for six months following a failed drug test.
Ryder, 29, tested positive for a performance-enhancing stimulant last summer and faced a Sports Disputes Tribunal hearing earlier this month.
Under the findings released this morning, Ryder's ban extends from April 19 to October 19 meaning he will be able to return to the sport before the start of next season.
At the hearing, Ryder's handlers said the cricketer used a poorly labelled weight-loss supplement and took the banned substance by mistake.
Ryder was playing for Wellington at the time of the incident, but has since signed to play for Otago for the coming summer.
His last match was in Christchurch on March 28, the same day he was assaulted outside a Christchurch bar.
Ryder was due to begin his contract with Otago Cricket on October 1, three days after a six-month ban would end.
Players' Association executive manager Heath Mills is understood to have been working closely with Ryder.
Ryder's manager and long-time friend Aaron Klee, Otago Cricket, Wellington Cricket and Drug Free Sport NZ did not return calls this morning.
- Fairfax Media