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Doping: Dejected Asif to appeal against ban

Published: Friday, November 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Lahore:A shocked and dejected Mohammad Asif claims he never knew what a doping test was before he flunked one and said he would appeal against the ban imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board's Anti-doping tribunal within the next two days.

Asif once again denied ever knowingly taking performance-enhancing drug and said the Pakistan Cricket Board's Anti-doping tribunal's decision to ban him for an year came as a shock to him.

''I have decided to appeal against the ban. I never knowingly took any banned drug, which is why I still can't believe that all this has happened to me. My entire career is at stake,'' Asif told 'The News'.

''Before this I didn't even know what a doping test was. I was shocked to hear about my ban. But I will face it and fight to get it lifted. I know that I have suddenly become a zero after emerging as a hero and I am determined to clear my name,'' the lanky 23-year-old said.

The pacer, who invited comparisons with Aussie veteran Glenn McGrath for his wicket taking abilities, said he was disappointed to be out of next year's World Cup.

''I am terribly disappointed to be out of the World Cup. I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs. My health supplements contained protein powder and vitamins and my trainer was well aware of it,'' he told NDTV.

Asif, along with Shoaib Akhtar who received a two-year ban, failed to prove their innocence in front of the three-man PCB tribunal. The duo had tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone in tests conducted by the PCB and had to be withdrawn from Pakistan's Champions Trophy squad in India.

Asif got a shorter sentence as the tribunal felt that the youngster may not have been aware of the presence of the banned substance in the health supplements that he took.

''I never knew that nandrolone was there in the supplements I took,'' Asif said.

Asif is set to be represented by a lawyer during the hearing of his appeal. The pacer attended the previous hearings alone.

Meanwhile, quoting PCB sources, 'The News' reported that Asif's sentence may be reduced but the going will be tough for Shoaib, whose past controversies may weigh against him.

The express bowler however, has also made up his mind to appeal and is reportedly consulting lawyers to prepare his defence.

''The tribunals verdict has devastated Shoaib and he is going to file an appeal with the belief that he has been unjustly treated,'' Shoaib's doctor Tauseef Razzaq said.

''He has to fight this case because this ban would ruin his career,'' he added.

UNI

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