Doping: ~~Shoaib, Asif may be forgiven~~!

Published: Monday, October 23, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Tainted pace duo of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif may be forgiven if they prove that their positive dope test for nandrolone was a result of mistaken consumption, revealed a member of the PCB Anti-Doping Tribunal.

Dr Waqar Ahmed, member of the Pakistan Cricket Board Anti-Doping Tribunal revealed to Voice of America (VOA) that the pace duo can be let off if it is proved that the banned substance went into their bodies accidentally.

''The Tribunal, by examining the evidence and statements produced by Shoaib and Asif, has to judge and determine if the banned substance did in fact go into their bodies by accident. If they Tribunal is convinced that it all happened by accident and not by negligence, then Shoaib and Asif can be evicted and forgiven, but this would be the decision of the whole tribunal and not a single person,'' Dr Ahmed said.

''All over the world athletes do take supplements to restore their energy and some times these supplements contain banned substances that athletes take unknowingly,'' he elaborated.

However, Dr Ahmed's views were refuted by Asian Federation of the Sports medicine vice-president, Dr Danish Zaheer.

Dr Zaheer said the global Anti-Doping agency WADA does not buy this version of accidental use and warned that if the PCB Tribunal failed to strictly on the matter than it might lead to future drug offences.

''This would make a mockery of the World Anti Doping Agency's Doping Code if every athlete after testing positive claimed that he used the substance by accident. It is the responsibility of the athlete to get the herbal supplement tested from the WADA accredited Lab before using any herbal supplement to ensure it does not have any banned substance and if he did not do so then the athlete is responsible for testing positive,'' Dr Zaheer said.

Dr Zaheer also criticised Dr Ahmed for publicly saying that Shoaib and Asif can be forgiven and said such a statement puts a big question mark on the credibility and integrity of the PCB tribunal.

The doping expert said such a comment suggests that the tribunal has already made up it's mind to let the players of the hook, which could result in further embarrassment for PCB and Pakistan.

Dr Zaheer said WADA may intervene if the Tribunal failed to properly conduct it's the proceedings.


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