ICL: Indian Cricket League

PCB inquiry tribunal summons Bob Woolmer


bobPakistan coach Bob Woolmer and a couple of officials from his support staff have been summoned by the inquiry tribunal investigating doping charges against pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif.

Barrister Shahid Hamid, at the helm of the three-man tribunal, announced on Saturday that Woolmer, national team’s trainer Murray Stevenson and physiotherapist Darren Lifsun have been asked to appear at the next hearing over the doping case in Lahore on November 1.

“We have summoned Woolmer and other team officials because we believe that their input over the issue is necessary before concluding our investigation,” Shahid said after Saturday’s hearing.

The tribunal was expected to wrap up the inquiry on Saturday following a series of cross-questioning of the two players involved and the chief of Pakistan Cricket Board’s medical panel Dr Sohail Saleem.

But it has decided to extend the procedure by four more days before submitting its recommendations to the PCB over the doping scandal by the end of next week.

“We want to know what Woolmer and the other two officials have to say over the case. They are a part of the team’s management and are closely associated with the players which makes it very important to have their statements before taking a final decision,” said Shahid who added that the tribunal is expected to hand over its recommendations to the PCB on November 2.

If found guilty, the pace duo could be banned for two years - the minimum penalty for a first offence according to the ICC rules. But since the dope tests were carried out by Pakistan internally, PCB will have the final say over the issue and can opt for a lighter punishment for the players.

Shoaib and Asif were withdrawn from the Pakistan team just a day before its opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy in Jaipur on October 17 after the bowlers tested positive for nandrolone, a banned performance enhancing substance.

The PCB formed a tribunal that also includes former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam and doping expert Waqar Ahmad to investigate the charges and file its recommendations over the issue.

The tribunal now wants to record statements of Woolmer, Stevenson and Lifsun before submitting its findings to the PCB.

It was Woolmer who convinced the PCB to carry out dope tests of the country’s leading cricketers. The Board went ahead with the tests soon after the national team returned from a marathon tour of England last month.

Stevenson and Lifson, have apparently been summoned for Wednesday’s hearing since they are at the helm of the cricketers’ fitness regime.

On Saturday, Shoaib and Asif once again appeared before the inquiry tribunal which had also summoned two doping experts for the hearing. Dr Javed Akram of King Edward Medical College and Syed Abbas Raza of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital questioned the players during the proceedings. Both the players have pleaded their innocence but have accepted the results of the dope tests. They have also declined the option of having their ‘B’ samples tested.
Source:The News

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