Doping: Pakistani docs bat for Akhtar, Asif

Published: Sunday, November 5, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Islamabad:Pakistani doctors have rallied behind fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif describing their bans for doping as unjust, and offering to challenge the punishments in courts.

Pakistan Medical Association president Umer Ayub said the nation's cricket officials were merely trying to please the "outside world" by slapping bans on the bowlers after both tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone.

"Pakistan Cricket Board has pleased the outside world and the International Cricket Council (ICC) by banning Akhtar and Asif but justice was not meted out to the two," Ayub said Sunday.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed tribunal banned Akhtar for two years and Asif for one year after hearings in recent weeks.

Both were pulled out of the Champions Trophy in India last month and suspended before they faced the tribunal which concluded both failed to prove their innocence.

Both Akhtar and Asif are due to appeal against their punishments on Monday. The PCB has announced a two-man appeal committee comprising former judge Fakhruddin Ibrahim and former Test cricketer Haseeb Ehsan.

The ICC Thursday lauded PCB's handling of the inquiry and the final decision but the ban has come under severe criticism from former players, the public and media in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Medical Association, which has 165,000 Pakistani doctors registered with them, was also preparing for a court case.

"Since we feel the ban is unjust and if it is not lifted after appeals we will move to the court through our panel of lawyers which also includes renowned lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan," said Ayub.

He also criticised the original three-member tribunal saying they were unqualified. The tribunal was headed by barrister Shahid Hamid and also included former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam and doctor Waqar Ahmed.

Ayub said the bowlers were innocent and those connected with the Pakistani team should be blamed for the controversy.

"How can the doctors and trainers associated with the team be free of blame. They should also be penalised and why blame the bowlers in a country like Pakistan where you can get every medicine without a prescription."

Ayub said Australia banned spin bowler Shane Warne for only one year despite testing positive for a large quantity of a banned diuretic.

"It's only in Pakistan where we punish our own people in a haphazard and unjust manner."


Write Comments