Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif will fly to Mumbai early Thursday to appear before an Indian tribunal in a bid to clear his name of doping allegations that have stalled his career, his lawyer said.
The 25-year-old tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone during the Indian Premier League (IPL) competition held between April and June this year and has since been suspended from all forms of cricket.
"Asif and I are flying to Mumbai early Thursday and will appear before the three-member IPL tribunal. We hope to fight this case out to our best abilities," Asif's lawyer, Shahid Karim, told AFP on Wednesday.
Michael Graham, a sports medicine expert, will also fly to Mumbai to back Asif's case, he said.
The lanky fast bowler faces a possible two-year ban from international cricket. The IPL is sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and any ban would automatically be adopted by the Pakistan Cricket Board as well.
His B sample also tested positive for nandrolone in August, but his lawyer says a disparity with the quantity found in the A sample has given Asif confidence.
Asif also tested positive for nandrolone in 2006, along with fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar. He was banned for one year and Akhtar for two, but the bans were overturned on appeal.
Asif further faces a possible ban or fine from the Pakistan Cricket Board after he was detained in Dubai, while returning from the IPL, on charges of possessing an illegal drug.
He was held for 19 days before police deported him.
The IPL's drugs tribunal comprises former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Bapat, the former vice chancellor of India's Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, and lawyer Shirish Gupte.
Asif, who has played 11 Tests and 31 one-day matches, last month said he was confident that the discrepancies between the two samples would help clear him and that he was desperate to get back to playing cricket.