Evidence against Asif ‘damning’August 4th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS
Karachi, Aug 4 (IANS) A fact-finding committee probing Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif’s misadventure in Dubai earlier this summer has informed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf that there is enough evidence to punish the dope-tainted player. The committee that includes senior PCB officials Shafqat Naghmi, Zakir Khan and Nadeem Akram found “damning evidence” against Asif from reports received by the Board from authorities in Dubai, well-placed sources said Monday.
“There is damning evidence against Asif that he was in possession of a banned drug when he arrived at the Dubai airport,” said the source. “The report sent to PCB by the Dubai authorities clearly states that the player was carrying the drug, though it was in a very small quantity,” the source added.
Asif, regarded as one of the finest fast bowlers in the world, sent shock waves in Pakistan cricket when he was caught in Dubai early in July while on his way home after playing in the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) season for the Delhi Daredevils.
He was detained in Dubai for 20 days before being released after the authorities dropped charges saying that the quantity of the drug recovered from him was insubstantial. There were widespread reports in the media at that time that top PCB officials used their connection in the Dubai government to get Asif released in a bid to avoid any further embarrassment for Pakistan cricket.
But later, the PCB refused to assist Asif any further, saying that it would launch an inquiry into the incident.
The fact-finding commission completed its probe last week and sent a report to PCB chief Nasim Ashraf, who is currently vacationing in the United States. It expected that Ashraf will take a decision on the case after returning home next week.
Sources said that if a decision is taken on the basis of the report filed by the committee, then there is a strong likelihood that the PCB will take a tough action against Asif. According to the sources, the Board could ban Asif for a year besides imposing a hefty fine.
Asif has a questionable history when it comes to drugs, having tested positive for performance-enhancing steroid nandrolone on two occasions. He failed a dope test in 2006 and again this summer.
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