Doping; WADA monitoring Asif, Akhtar ban

Published: Monday, November 6, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:The World Anti-Doping Agency is examining whether the punishment imposed on Pakistan pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif meets the international anti-doping code, an official said.

"WADA, as the international independent body responsible for monitoring, and in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code, is now carefully reviewing the reasons for the two decisions," WADA media relations manager Frederic Donze said.

"We will consider whether to exercise our right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, should any of these decisions not comply with the code, as WADA does with every doping case under the jurisdiction of organizations - such as the ICC - which have implemented the code," he told AFP in an email from Canada.

WADA would liaise with the International Cricket Council (ICC), he said.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tribunal on Wednesday banned Akhtar for two years and Asif for one year after the pair tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone.

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

Asif has appealed to the PCB against his punishment on Monday while Akhtar will serve a notice to the board before appealing.

The PCB had already set up a two-man appeal committee comprising former high court judge Fakhruddin Ibrahim and former Test selector Haseeb Ehsan.

Donze said WADA was thorough in drawing up its drugs list.

"WADA's list of prohibited substances and methods is prepared and reviewed annually through a highly consultative process. WADA has been responsible for the list starting in 2004, and nandrolone has been on the list for a very long time," said Donze.

Akhtar's medical counsellors contested there was skepticism over the ban on nandrolone as it is also produced naturally in the human body.

But Donze said the testing for nandrolone was accurate.

"Testing methods for nandrolone are quite accurate and reliable," he said.

The ICC adopted the World Anti-Doping Code in 2004, a year before legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne was banned for 12 months after testing positive for using banned a diuretic.

"The code entered in force on January 1, 2004, and Warne's case occurred before the code was in place and subsequently adopted by the ICC, so WADA had no role in Warne's case, Donze said.


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