Akhtar, Asif fail doping tests

Lahore, October 16:

Pakistan has recalled fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif from the Champions Trophy after they tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, officials said on Monday.

In the latest of a series of controversies to engulf Pakistan, the pair face bans of up to two years if a second test confirms the results, Pakistan Cricket Board director of operations Salim Altaf said.

“I can confirm that Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif have tested positive for the performance-enhancing anabolic steroid nandrolone and they have been called back to Pakistan”, Altaf said.

The PCB conducted its own internal tests on 25 players before the Champions Trophy in India and the samples were sent to an accredited lab in Malaysia which informed the board about the two positive tests, he said.

Pakistan has no current system for doping offences but will set up a tribunal to decide how to punish Akthar and Asif if their test results are confirmed, the PCB official said. “But we know that it’s a big issue and under the ICC anti-doping rules the punishment for a first violation is two years,” Altaf added.

Pakistan is lining up fast bowlers Mohammad Sami and Shahid Nazir and all-rounder Yasir Arafat to fly out to India, a board official said.