Asif tested positive in IPL, may face a life ban (Lead)

July 14th, 2008 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Shoaib Akhtar

New Delhi/Karachi, July 14 (IANS) Pakistani speedster Mohammed Asif faces a possible life ban for testing positive a second time at a random test conducted during the Indian Premier League (IPL) in May. IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi confirmed Monday that the 25-year-old Sheikhupura-born player, who represented Delhi Daredevils in the IPL, failed the dope test.

The IPL came to the conclusion after comparing the result from the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA)-approved laboratory in Switzerland with the data collected by IDTM, the Sweden based independent agency which organised the anti-dope testing in accordance with the WADA code.

The IPL chairman also said that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Daredevils’ franchise owner GMR have been informed about the adverse analytical findings (AAF) of Asif’s samples. But the nature of the banned substance was still not known.

The fast bowler can now request the IPL to analyse his B-sample and the once its is done the fast bowler has to appear before the IPL Drug Tribunal comprising Ravi Bapat, Sunil Gavaskar and Shirish Gupte.

Since it is Asif’s second offence, the Pakistani can face a life ban for violating Article 10.2 of the WADA Code. For his first offence in 2006 he was handed out a one year ban.

Modi also said Asif, who was nursing an injury on his bowling arm when he came to play in the IPL, had not applied for Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), which perhaps could have saved him.

Asif’s testing positive has shamed the PCB and the governing body of cricket in Pakistan has sought legal advice the moment they heard Sunday night that a subcontinental fast bowler was tested positive.

The PCB had to do a lot of damage control and faced adverse criticism for its role in the previous doping scandal that hit Pakistan cricket when Asif and fellow pacer Shoaib Akhtar failed dope tests in 2006 just before the Champions Trophy in India.

Asif is also facing a PCB inquiry after being detained for 19 days in Dubai for possessing a banned drug.

Asif, who had undergone a one-year ban after testing positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone during the Champions Trophy in India, suffered from an elbow injury and that saw him miss seven of the 14 games that his team played in the IPL.

The WADA officials arrived in India from Sweden May 18 when the 44-day IPL was moving towards its final phase to do random dope tests.

A day before the WADA testing, Asif sat out of the game against Kings XI Punjab and wasn’t part of the team in subsequent three games. The reason given for Asif’s absence was an elbow problem and the player was found wearing a strap around his elbow as his team mates continued to practice.

Later, the injury was described as non-serious though Asif hasn’t played much competitive cricket since then because of his stay at the Dubai detention centre.

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