Pakistani Senators want life ban on dope-tainted Asif

January 13th, 2009 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 13 (IANS) Pakistan’s embattled fast bowler Mohammad Asif suffered yet another blow Tuesday when the Senate’s Sports Committee asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to impose a life ban on the dope-tainted player.Senators probing the national cricket affairs told the PCB chairman at a meeting in Islamabad that Asif has set a bad example because of repeated breaches of discipline involving the use and possession of banned substances and should be punished appropriately.

Senator Enver Baig, a committee member, said that Asif has tarnished the image of the nation after being convicted on charges of possession of opium in Dubai.

Asif, 26, tested positive for nandroline during the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) season last May. He is also under scrutiny for a 19-day detention in Dubai over possession of opium in June last year.

The pacer was detained at Dubai Airport on June 1 last year after being detected with 0.24 gram of opium on his way back to Pakistan after playing in the IPL.

“Youngsters will be encouraged to take drugs if Asif is not banned,” Baig said at the meeting.

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said he had no knowledge of a report from the Dubai public prosecutor which was published in the media Sunday.

“We didn’t have the copy of it because former chief operating officer of the PCB, Shafqat Naghmi, took it away with him when he left the PCB Oct 18 last year,” the PCB chief told the committee.

Senator Tahir Mashadi said Asif’s admission that he took opium would leave a bad impression on the Pakistani youngsters, who follow cricket like a religion.

“We have great expectations from our sportsmen, they are role models,” he said. “The PCB needs to take some strict action against Asif so that a clear-cut message be given to youngsters.”

The Senators also grilled the PCB chief over “serious financial discrepancies in the board accounts”.

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