IPL tribunal reserves verdict after hearing Asif’s dope case (Roundup)

January 24th, 2009 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Jan 24 (IANS) Indian Premier League’s (IPL) drug tribunal Saturday completed a marathon hearing into Pakistan’s tainted fast bowler Mohammad Asif’s appeal against doping and decided to reserve its verdict. The three-member panel comprising former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar, advocate Shirish Gupte and medical specialist Ravi Bapat heard testimony from a host of witnesses and also heard the representation by the Pakistan seamer’s lawyer Shahid Karim.

The hearing took place over five hours at the Cricket Centre in the Wankhede Stadium and the decision of the panel will be announced later, a spokesman of the Indian cricket board told IANS.

“The tribunal has reserved its verdict in the interim and shall now meet again soon to take a final decision in the matter,” an IPL statement said.

The hearing was postponed twice earlier.

The Pakistani bowler, who played for Delhi Daredevils last year, was suspended last May after testing positive for the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone in the inaugural IPL season.

The drug tests showed traces of the banned substance above the permissible limit in both A and B urine samples.

If proved guilty, Asif will face a possible two-year ban from all forms of cricket. Delhi Daredevils has already released him from the team following a request by the pacer.

Asif is also facing charges of carrying contraband drugs in Dubai.

On his way back to Pakistan immediately after the last IPL season ended, Asif was detained in Dubai for 19 days after customs officials found opium in his wallet.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is conducting a probe over his detention in Dubai. The board has already suspended him from all forms of cricket.

Asif may face a minimum of four years’ suspension or a maximum life ban over the drugs offence.

The pacer is also on the verge of bankruptcy as he flew to India this week in a desperate bid to collect dues owed to him by the Daredevils. He was forced to sell his house and car in his legal battle against a possible doping ban.

“My visit to India is aimed at resolving the payment issue because I am running out of money. I had to sell my car and a house to meet legal expenses and now I have to get my remaining dues from Delhi Daredevils,” Asif said before his trip to India.

In October 2006, Asif and Shoaib Akhtar tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, just before the ICC Champions Trophy in India and were withdrawn from the tournament by the PCB. They were later let off by an appeals’ tribunal of the PCB.

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