ICL: Indian Cricket League

Speculative media reports, interviews will be curbed by PCB


Pakistan’s cricket authorities were on Monday looking for ways to curb a media circus over the doping scandal involving Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif after a member of the inquiry tribunal reportedly said that the pacers might go unpunished.

A source in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) admitted that non-stop interviews and statements coming from various quarters might damage the fast bowlers’ case that is to be decided by a three-member tribunal following a full-fledged investigation.

Pakistan suspended Shoaib and Asif after the duo was tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone last week and later formed a tribunal to decide their case.

The source also said that the Board is surprised by reports that Dr Waqar Ahmed, a member of the tribunal, was quoted as saying in an interview that Shoaib and Asif would not be banned if there is a proof that they took the performance enhancing drug unintentionally.

A PCB official even talked to Waqar on Monday over the issue but the sports medicine specialist denied giving any such interview.

Waqar, associated with the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) as Director of Sports Medicine, was quoted as saying in a radio report that the bowlers can be forgiven if the tribunal is convinced that they took the banned substance unintentionally or by mistake.

“He denies giving any such comments,” said the source. “He might have been misquoted.” The PCB has already told all the concerned parties including the players and the tribunal members to stay away from the media till the hearing continues.

Now the PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf is expected to once again reassert the Board’s stance over the matter.

According to International Cricket Council (ICC) rules, the pacers face a two-year ban if found guilty. The inquiry tribunal held its preliminary hearing in Lahore last week and is now scheduled to meet again at the PCB headquarters on November 26.

Waqar missed the initial hearing because of a flight delay and there were speculations that he might not be able to attend Thursday’s hearing because of other commitments. He may have to fly to Colombo next week for a hearing over the positive dope tests of Pakistan’s South Asian Games champions Mehrullah Lassi and Faisal Karim to be held on October 27.

But a PCB official said that the PSB has confirmed that Waqar would attend the Lahore hearing. “We don’t know whether he (Waqar) has any other commitments but what we know is that he would be a part of the tribunal for Thursday’s hearing in Lahore,” said the official. Shoaib and Asif have been asked to submit written statements over the positive dope tests in Thursday’s hearing.

Source:Soccer News

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