Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan cricket coach, had ingested enough weedkiller to kill him in the hours before his death, a source close to the Jamaican police has disclosed.
High concentrations of a herbicide were discovered in his stomach and traces were found on the inside and outside of a glass from which he had been drinking champagne.
Detectives are focusing on two bottles of champagne given to him in a gift set. One had been emptied and the other was left untouched in his hotel room.
Woolmer, a 58-year-old former England batsman, died at the Pegasus hotel, Kingston, on March 18, hours after Pakistan had been knocked out of the World Cup.
The Sunday Times revealed three weeks ago that forensic tests indicated he had been poisoned. Jamaican police believe he was strangled to death while in a weakened state.
It has now emerged that the poison was a weedkiller so rare that detectives have yet to establish whether it is available in Jamaica.
Woolmer is believed to have ingested the poison with the champagne. “Everything was contaminated,” the police source said. “The stomach content, the glass, everything. There was enough to kill him.
“We think it’s something very unusual, that you can’t even buy in Jamaica,” the source added. “We don’t know what form it was in, whether liquid or crystal. The weedkiller was certainly in the glass. We are not sure whether it was in the bottle. Until we get further results we can’t confirm it.”
If the herbicide was not inside the empty bottle, it leaves open the possibility that the glass was contaminated earlier or that someone may have slipped it in once the champagne had been poured. It is not known whether he shared the bottle of champagne with another person.