Asif can be banned for life, warns Pakistan’s anti-doping expertJanuary 21st, 2009 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS
Karachi, Jan 21 (IANS) Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif can even get a life ban for carrying opium, a leading Pakistani sports medicine expert said Wednesday.Danish Zaheer, president of Sports Medicine Association of Pakistan, said in an interview that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has strict regulations as far as possessing drugs is concerned and Asif may face a minimum of four years’ suspension or a maximum life ban over the drugs offence.
Asif, 28, is facing a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) inquiry over his detention in Dubai last June after being caught in possession of opium.
Saleem Altaf, the PCB chief operating officer, told reporters the other day WADA had no jurisdiction in Asif’s Dubai detention case, and added that it would be decided following an internal inquiry being conducted by the board.
However, Zaheer disputed that claim.
“If WADA had no jurisdiction, they would not have written a letter to PCB,” he said.
“Opium, according to WADA code, is considered under Drug Trafficking and Possession Clause and there is no question of one being caught in or out of competition. Moreover, as per reports published in media quoting Dubai Officials, Asif has already admitted the usage and possession of opium that could spell further disaster for him,” Zaheer added.
Speaking on Asif’s contention that he used opium as a herbal medicine to boost his blood pressure and energy levels, Zaheer said: “Ignorance of law is no excuse and it would be very difficult for Asif to win his case on this weak argument”.
Asif is also facing a hearing of the Indian Premier League’s Drugs Tribunal in Mumbai, Sunday. He is facing a possible two-year ban after failing a dope test while featuring in the inaugural IPL season last May.