PCB considering to clear dope-tainted Asif

December 31st, 2008 - 7:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Dec 31 (IANS) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is considering to clear dope-tainted fast bowler Mohammad Asif.The PCB suspended Asif earlier this year after he failed a dope test while playing in the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) in May.

But since it is uncertain whether Pakistani players will be associated with the IPL in the wake of India’s ties with Pakistan post-Mumbai attacks, the PCB is evaluating the pros and cons of letting Asif off the hook.

Sources in the PCB said Wednesday that Asif is also pressurising the PCB through both legal and political channels, to clear him so that he could resume his international career.

Asif wants to be cleared as soon as possible so as to return to competitive cricket by appearing in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy - the country’s premier domestic event.

But the PCB top brass is split as some officials favour clearing Asif while others think such a step would tarnish the board’s reputation.

Asif has a tainted reputation as far as doping is concerned as he also tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone during the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy in India. He made all the wrong headlines last summer when he was detained in Dubai for 19 days after being caught carrying a small amount of some banned substance.

However, PCB officials with a soft corner for him believe that the player has already paid price for the offence as he has been out of the Pakistan team for the last six months.

They also point out that Asif did not fail Test while on national duty and now that there is a major possibility that Pakistan may break ties with the IPL because of strained relations with India, there is no use punishing Asif.

Meanwhile, the PCB has decided to seek help from legal experts to resolve the issue.

Sources said the Pakistan board has contacted doping experts Waqar Ahmed and Danish Zaheer to find out a legal way to clear Asif.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Asif will appear before the IPL doping tribunal in London on Jan 24.

Because of the tensions between India and Pakistan following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the IPL doping tribunal has chosen London as the venue for the hearing.

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