Akhtar and Asif returned home Monday after failing an initial dope test ahead of their team's Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka here, but their fate will be decided only when the report of their 'B' sample comes.
The duo face suspension if the 'B' sample also tests positive.
"I think it will be a disappointing day for cricket if they are suspended. But it is all subject to the 'B' sample," International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed said Monday.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had arranged tests of 19 players before the tournament from a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory in Malaysia, where the two tested positive for Nandrolone, a banned anabolic steroid.
"These tests were done at the initiative of the PCB to ensure their cricket is free of doping and to ensure there are no illegal practices in the game," Speed said, adding the final decision on players would be made by the PCB.
"There is a second test, the 'B' sample, which is imminent. If it is also positive there will be a hearing by the the PCB doping tribunal."
Speed said the dope tests would also be carried out randomly in six matches in the ongoing Champions Trophy.
"The matches and players will be chosen randomly. The team list will be provided before the match and doping agents can pick four players in a game and test them," he said.
This is not the first time the ICC are conducting the dope tests. They began in the 2002 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand and also at the 2004 Champions Trophy in England and the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.
"Cricket is regarded as a low-risk sport in terms of doping. Five of our members - England, South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia - carry out regular testing within their own countries," said Speed.