Yorkshire apologise to Azeem Rafiq after report on race row reveals ex-spinner was ‘victim of inappropriate behaviour'

YORKSHIRE have apologised to former spin bowler Azeem Rafiq after a probe upheld several of his claims of racism.

The county admitted Rafiq, an ex-England Under-19 captain, was the victim of “inappropriate behaviour”.

It comes after Yorkshire received the findings of an independent investigation into allegations of institutional racism they commissioned last year.

Yorkshire say they hope to publish the full report within weeks although it is possible some or all names will be redacted for legal reasons.

A statement from Yorkshire said: “There were many allegations made against the club, most of which relate to a period more than ten years ago.

“Many of the allegations were not upheld and for others there was insufficient evidence for the panel to make a determination.

“It is right, however, to acknowledge from the outset that several of the allegations made by Azeem were upheld and that sadly, historically, Azeem was the victim of inappropriate behaviour.

“This is clearly unacceptable. We would like to express our profound apologies for this.

“We acknowledge that it has been a distressing and difficult period for those involved.

“We are sorry that the process took longer than we had hoped, but it has always been our position that the investigation should be thorough and, so far as possible, not compromised by external factors.”

Rafiq, 30, has claimed players from Asian descent were called “P****” or “elephant washers” and one witness statement is believed to allege that a former Yorkshire captain frequently used the n-word.

Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton said: “I would like to acknowledge Azeem’s courage in raising these issues and his participation in the investigation, which I understand must have been very difficult.

The club could, and should, have supported him better.

“I would also like to express my sincere apology to him for certain failings by the club, which have been highlighted by the panel.

“He has very obviously experienced some difficult and distressing times during the time since 2008 and the club could, and should, have supported him better.”

The panel was chaired by Samir Pathak, a surgeon at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds and trustee of the MCC Foundation.

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