Doping: PCB tribunal to start proceedings ~~morrow

Published: Friday, October 20, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Suspended Pakistan bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif may attend a doping tribunal on Saturday after testing positive for steroids, a cricket board official said.

"The preliminary hearing of the tribunal will be held on Saturday and there is a possibility that Akhtar and Asif will appear before them," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) operations director Salim Altaf told AFP.

He also said that doping expert Waqar Ahmed, the medical director of the Pakistan Sports Board, had been appointed as the third and final member of the panel.

Barrister Shahid Hamid will chair the tribunal while former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam is the other member.

Hamid represented former Pakistan captain Salim Malik during a match fixing inquiry in 1998 but left the case mid-way. The 64-year-old Alam played 47 Tests and four one-day internationals for Pakistan and led them between 1971 and 1976.

The tribunal is expected to take two weeks to return its findings and recommendations to the PCB, which will then take a final decision.

Akhtar and Asif were sent home from the Champions Trophy in India on Monday after urine samples tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone. Their 'B' samples are yet to be examined.

Under International Cricket Council doping rules the penalty for a first doping offense is a ban of two years. However, the PCB said since the tests were conducted internally it will take its own decision.

Both Akhtar and Asif have pleaded their innocence, saying they have not deliberately taken any banned substance. The PCB has forbidden them from speaking further to the media.

The Sports Medicine Association of Pakistan meanwhile criticised the PCB for prematurely disclosing Akhtar and Asif's names in connection with the doping scandal.

Clause 16.2 of the ICC's Anti-Doping Code says the ICC and its members should not publicly identify cricket players whose samples have resulted in adverse findings, the association's president Danish Zaheer said in a statement.


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