Asif hopes to be cleared of the dope charges

January 26th, 2009 - 9:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 26 (IANS) Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif, who returned home from Mumbai Monday, is hopeful of being cleared of the dope charges by the Indian Premier League (IPL) drugs tribunal.He appeared in an IPL hearing into doping charges in Mumbai Jan 24.

“The IPL tribunal has accepted that it were the eye drops which I used that contained nandrolone,” said Asif referring to his contention to the IPL tribunal. He said his nadrolone levels were raised because of eye drop Keratyl.

Asif on his return at the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport here told reporters that he is confident of returning to the Pakistan team soon.

“I am quite hopeful that I will be cleared,” said the fast bowler, who was suspended from all forms of cricket by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after he tested positive for banned steroid nandrolone in the inaugural IPL season last May.

The tribunal, which included legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar, lawyer Shirish Gupte and Ravi Bapat, is expected to reach a verdict later this week.

“It’s up to the tribunal now, but my doctors and lawyers have strongly pleaded the case,” he said.

Asif said during his India visit, he managed to clear his dues with IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils. The bowler claimed that he himself decided to quit Daredevils to revive his career in Pakistan team.

Asif said he would soon fly to Dubai to clear himself from another controversy. The bowler was detained in Dubai for 19 days last June after 0.24 grams of opium were found in his wallet at Dubai Airport. Reports coming from Dubai suggested that the pacer has been barred from entering the UAE again.

Asif also said that the Indian media has launched a campaign to malign him. “The Indian media has been giving very negative reports about me,” he complained, referring to Indian TV reports that claimed that he admitted using steroids in front of the IPL tribunal.

The PCB has launched an inquiry into Asif’s Dubai detention case. Former Pakistan Test wicket-keeper Wasim Bari, PCB’s chief medical officer Dr Sohail Saleem are among the members of the committee.

Asif also thanked PCB chief Ijaz Butt for his support. “He (Butt) has been very supportive in difficult times and I am really very thankful to him.”

The PCB chief told reporters Sunday in Lahore that Asif will soon make a return to the Pakistan team.

“We are hopeful that Asif will be playing for Pakistan soon as his case is almost solved. We have been updated on his hearing in Mumbai and feel that he will be cleared,” Butt said.

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