Substance that Asif carried was opium, confirms ex-PCB official

November 19th, 2008 - 12:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Nov 19 (ANI): It has been established that the suspended Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif possessed opium when he was detained at the Dubai Airport earlier this year, and hence, he has been recommended for both ban and fine, said former PCB chief operating officer and member of its inquiry committee Shafqat Naghmi.

It was proved during our investigation that Asif was caught with a small amount of opium at the Dubai airport, The News quoted Naghmi as saying while addressing a press conference.

While on his back home in June this year after playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament, Asif was detained for 19 days in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, after authorities allegedly found a substance containing opium in his wallet at the airport.

He was accused of carrying 0.01 ounces (0.25 grams) of opium, but he tested negative for drugs and was released without being charged. But, he was questioned by Dubai authorities for drug possession and smuggling while he remained in custody at the airports detention center. He was actually deported from Dubai as the amount of opium was not enough to lay down charges, Naghmi said while replying to a question.

He added: We have completed the draft of the report, but the new officials in the PCB have not so far asked us to submit it. The new chairman didnt talk to me after his appointment, but even now if the PCB just sends me a letter to submit our findings on Asifs case, I will do so.

Later, the PCB formed a three-member inquiry committee headed by Naghmi and suspended Asif from playing international and national cricket after it emerged the paceman had tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone in the IPL in May.

Meanwhile, Asif has filed an appeal with the IPL drug tribunal in Mumbai, India and his next hearing will be held on November 29.

Earlier this month, Naghmi was replaced by former test fast bowler Saleem Altaf on the PCB while Ijaz Butt took over as the crickets boards new chairman, replacing Nasim Ashraf.

The former PCB official said that the other two members of the committee former PCB Director of Human Resources Nadeem Akram and present Director of Cricket Operations (International) Zakir Khan have recommended a ban of several international matches and financial penalty on Asif.

I have already drafted the report in which we have also taken into account the statement of Asif that he recorded before all three of us, Naghmi said and added: The draft is with me and I just have to sign it and send it to the PCB. (ANI)

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