IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Shoaib, Asif opt against testing of B samples


Fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif on Friday declined the option for having their ‘B’ samples tested as an inquiry tribunal inched towards a verdict following a marathon hearing in Lahore.

“The players have accepted the results of the dope tests and do not want any further tests to be carried out,” Barrister Shahid Hamid, who heads the three-man tribunal, said after the hearing.

Shoaib and Asif were withdrawn by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) from the country’s International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy squad after testing positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone earlier this month.

An inquiry tribunal that also includes former Pakistan Test captain Intikhab Alam and sports medicine specialist Dr Waqar Ahmed was set up by the PCB to investigate the doping scandal that has rocked Pakistan cricket.

The tribunal held a preliminary hearing before Eid in which it heard the players’ side of the story. The bowlers were also given reports of the positive dope tests.

On Friday, Shoaib and Asif submitted their written statements.

“During the hearing, we asked the players whether they wanted tests to be carried out on their ‘B’ samples but they refused,” said Shahid, a former Punjab governor. “They have accepted the results of the dope tests,” he said adding that the hearing would continue today (Saturday).

Both Shoaib and Asif have pleaded their innocence over doping charges and according to international doping law have the option to ask for tests to be carried out on their ‘B’ samples. Any negative results on those samples would automatically clear them of doping charges.

Friday’s proceedings continued for over ten hours. While Asif attended the hearing alone, Shoaib was accompanied by Dr. Nauman Niaz. Both the players were questioned by the tribunal for about an hour each.

The tribunal also recorded the statements of Dr. Sohail Saleem, PCB’s chief medical officer. Sohail is at the helm of the Board’s panel of doctors and is a key figure in the investigations.

Initially, the tribunal was expected to take about two weeks to submit its recommendations to the PCB on the doping scandal. But now that the pacers have opted not to have their ‘B’ samples tested, it seems that a verdict could come out much sooner.

For its next hearing scheduled to get underway this morning, the tribunal has also summoned a couple of doping experts to take their opinion on the issue. “Now that the players have explained their point of view, we will take medical opinion from experts,” said Shahid.

According to International Cricket Council (ICC) rules, Shoaib and Asif should be banned for up to two years if found guilty. A final decision, however, would be taken by the PCB on the recommendations of the inquiry tribunal. The ICC has no say over the issue since the players were caught through tests carried out by the PCB internally.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Sunday, October 29th, 2006 and is filed under General.

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