Shoaib Akhtar on ICC’s dope testing scanner

April 10th, 2009 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib Akhtar Karachi, April 10 (IANS) Pakistan’s controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar can be specifically targeted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) if it opted to carry our random dope tests during the one-day series between Pakistan and Australia starting in Dubai from April 22.
According to the media reports Friday, some of the cricketers featuring in the one-day series can be asked to undergo dope tests by the ICC in line with the new anti-doping regulations adopted by the game’s governing body.

If such tests are carried out, Shoaib will be an ideal candidate because of his past track record and the fact that he mysteriously became fit just weeks after suffering from a serious knee problem.

Shoaib, 33, tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone during the 2006 Champions Trophy in India. He has been mostly out of international action since then either due to injury or suspension.

But he made a stunning comeback to the Pakistan team for the April 22-May 7 series against the Aussies earlier this month after passing a series of fitness tests.

Reports suggested that the bowler may find himself in trouble during the series against the Aussies if asked to undergo dope tests.

The ICC has toughened its anti-doping policies. In February, a team of ICC experts had briefed the Pakistan players, backroom staff and officials on the new ICC Anti-Doping Code (2009) which came into effect Jan 1.

The code has several changes from the ICC’s previous anti-doping regulations, including the adoption of the International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP), made up of the leading players from each of the top eight ranked ODI teams.

Those players selected in the IRTP are required to provide additional information about their whereabouts throughout the year in order that the ICC can implement an effective out-of-competition testing programme in line with the requirements of the WADA Code 2009.

The ICC became a signatory of WADA in July 2006 and the ICC Anti-Doping Code (2009), unanimously incorporated by the ICC Executive Board, indicates an overwhelming level of support for a zero-tolerance approach to drugs within the game of cricket.

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