Pakistan on Friday hit back at the International Cricket Council (ICC) for what they described as harsh and unwarranted remarks from ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed over the doping episode linked to fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have written a strong-worded letter to the ICC president Percy Sonn protesting against Speed, who had, in a media statement, termed the whole affair of Shoaib and Asif continuing to play cricket after having tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid an “embarrassment” for the game.
Dr Nasim Ashraf, PCB chairman, was quoted as saying by Cricinfo that Speed’s comments were uncalled for and inflammatory.
“The Board takes strong objection to the irresponsible remarks by Malcolm Speed to a case that is sub judice,” Nasim said referring to the fact that the overturning of the bans on both players was referred to the International Court of Sports Arbitration by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
“Both players were voluntarily dope-tested and withdrawn from the Champions Trophy after which the due legal process of the PCB’s anti-doping code was strictly followed,” the PCB chief pointed out.
“They were let off by an appellate tribunal after which the ICC has admitted it had no legal grounds over the case. WADA has filed a case over it and the matter is now judice. These remarks then are utterly irresponsible and unwarranted,” he remarked.
Nasim asserted he did not want to get into a public slanging match over the issue but had been compelled to respond.
“We have asked Percy Sonn to instruct other ICC officials not to issue such inflammatory remarks. We do not want to engage in a public debate on this but since the remarks appeared in public, we are forced to state facts and clear the names of players, the PCB and Pakistan,” he explained.
In their letter to Sonn, PCB have said that Speed’s comments could “influence opinion” on the issue.
Shoaib and Asif tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone last October after which they were initially banned for two and one year respectively by an inquiry tribunal appointed by the PCB. However, they were reprieved on appeal by another committee also formed by the Board, a verdict that was challenged by WADA.
The two pacers were named in Pakistan’s 15-man squad last month but were pulled out just before the departure of the team to the West Indies on fitness grounds on Thursday.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Saturday, March 3rd, 2007 and is filed under General.
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