ICL: Indian Cricket League


Bob Woolmer stands by Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif

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bobPakistan coach Bob Woolmer told Sky Sports News that he believes that both Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif did not knowingly take performance-enhancing drugs after both men failed drugs tests on the eve of their ICC Champions Trophy campaign.

Pakistan’s premier fast bowlers are both set to take the next flight out of India after being ordered home after they both tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone - although Shoaib has already protested his innocence. PCB medical chiefs will now be looking at the B sample of the two players to see if that also turns up a positive result.

Woolmer now finds himself without his two front-line pacemen for the Champions Trophy, but despite his disappointment he firmly believes that the positive results have turned up by accident.

“My reaction is one of disappointment as a coach who is†losing two players,” Woolmer told. “I’m not sure about the replacement rules but I think it will be okay and we’ll be able to replace them but it’s not easy to deal with this at the moment,” he added.

“I very much doubt whether either player took this particular substance, whatever it is, to enhance their performance. They have been suffering from injuries and I just wonder if the substance that’s been found is in one of those drugs or injections that they’ve used for those injuries. So I’m just hoping that it’s an accidental thing, I actually think it is, but we’ll just have to let the PCB get on and deal with it,” he explained.

Pakistan carried out the doping tests themselves before the squad flew out to India to prepare for the Champions Trophy, and Woolmer insists it was only to prepare for the new regulations introduced by the ICC after they signed up to the World Anti-doping Agency’s code.

“The ICC have brought in the doping regulation so in order to be prepared I asked our medical people to conduct these tests to be prepared,” added Woolmer. “If there were any elements like asthma then we had to tell the ICC and the drug people so we were trying to get prepared for it but its gone wrong for us,” he revealed.

If the duo had†tested positive during the Champions Trophy they would have been looking at two-year bans under the new regulations, but Woolmer is adamant that the PCB will be in charge of any punishments handed out as they carried out the tests.

“The case is we’ve done the drug tests and we’re in control of what we’re doing, the PCB are in control of what they’re doing. The players will obviously have to be looked at and we’ll see what we can do but it will be up to the PCB as to what decision they make,” he said.

“Certainly if they were tested during the tournament they would have been banned for two years under the regulations so I think it’s better that we have a look now and see what has happened and in fact it’s a positive for us leading up to the World Cup. So we just have to get on with this particular trophy,” he added.

After the ball tampering row at The Oval resulting in Inzamam-ul-Haq’s ban, along with Younis Khan’s off-on captaincy appointment, the news is just the latest controversy to hit Pakistan. Woolmer admits he is in a bit of a spin after all the drama over the last couple of months, but insists he and his side will cope.

“When you’re in a hurricane itís pretty stormy and I guess we’re in a bit of a hurricane right now but we’ll get through that. The PCB, the team and myself will just be very strong in this situation, we just have to. The cricket has got to come first regardless of what individuals do and we know that we’re trying to do the right things,” he said.

“Unfortunately this has hit us at the wrong time, its bad timing but the PCB will make the right decision. We’ve just got to get on with the cricket. We need to put it to one side as it’s not something we can control,” he added.

Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif

LONDON: Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer told Sky Sports News that he believes that both Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif did not knowingly take performance-enhancing drugs after both men failed drugs tests on the eve of their ICC Champions Trophy campaign.

Pakistan’s premier fast bowlers are both set to take the next flight out of India after being ordered home after they both tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone - although Shoaib has already protested his innocence. PCB medical chiefs will now be looking at the B sample of the two players to see if that also turns up a positive result.

Woolmer now finds himself without his two front-line pacemen for the Champions Trophy, but despite his disappointment he firmly believes that the positive results have turned up by accident.

“My reaction is one of disappointment as a coach who is†losing two players,” Woolmer told. “I’m not sure about the replacement rules but I think it will be okay and we’ll be able to replace them but it’s not easy to deal with this at the moment,” he added.

“I very much doubt whether either player took this particular substance, whatever it is, to enhance their performance. They have been suffering from injuries and I just wonder if the substance that’s been found is in one of those drugs or injections that they’ve used for those injuries. So I’m just hoping that it’s an accidental thing, I actually think it is, but we’ll just have to let the PCB get on and deal with it,” he explained.

Pakistan carried out the doping tests themselves before the squad flew out to India to prepare for the Champions Trophy, and Woolmer insists it was only to prepare for the new regulations introduced by the ICC after they signed up to the World Anti-doping Agency’s code.

“The ICC have brought in the doping regulation so in order to be prepared I asked our medical people to conduct these tests to be prepared,” added Woolmer. “If there were any elements like asthma then we had to tell the ICC and the drug people so we were trying to get prepared for it but its gone wrong for us,” he revealed.

If the duo had†tested positive during the Champions Trophy they would have been looking at two-year bans under the new regulations, but Woolmer is adamant that the PCB will be in charge of any punishments handed out as they carried out the tests.

“The case is we’ve done the drug tests and we’re in control of what we’re doing, the PCB are in control of what they’re doing. The players will obviously have to be looked at and we’ll see what we can do but it will be up to the PCB as to what decision they make,” he said.

“Certainly if they were tested during the tournament they would have been banned for two years under the regulations so I think it’s better that we have a look now and see what has happened and in fact it’s a positive for us leading up to the World Cup. So we just have to get on with this particular trophy,” he added.

After the ball tampering row at The Oval resulting in Inzamam-ul-Haq’s ban, along with Younis Khan’s off-on captaincy appointment, the news is just the latest controversy to hit Pakistan. Woolmer admits he is in a bit of a spin after all the drama over the last couple of months, but insists he and his side will cope.

“When you’re in a hurricane itís pretty stormy and I guess we’re in a bit of a hurricane right now but we’ll get through that. The PCB, the team and myself will just be very strong in this situation, we just have to. The cricket has got to come first regardless of what individuals do and we know that we’re trying to do the right things,” he said.

“Unfortunately this has hit us at the wrong time, its bad timing but the PCB will make the right decision. We’ve just got to get on with the cricket. We need to put it to one side as it’s not something we can control,” he added.

Source:The News

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