Mohammad Asif faces life ban threat

Published: Thursday, January 22, 2009, 12:15 [IST]
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Asif can be banned for life

Karachi: Controversial Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif may even get a life ban for carrying opium, a leading sports medicine expert has said.

Danish Zaheer, the president of the Sports Medicine Association of Pakistan, said in an interview that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has strict regulations as far as possessing drugs is concerned, and Asif may face a minimum of four years" suspension or a maximum of a life ban over the drugs offence.

Asif, 26, is facing a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) inquiry over his detention in Dubai last June after being caughtwith opium, The News reported.

Earlier, PCB Chief Operating Officer, Saleem Altaf, said the WADA had no jurisdiction in Asif""s Dubai detention case, and added that it would be decided following an internal inquiry.

However, Zaheer disputed that claim. 'If WADA had no jurisdiction, they would not have written a letter to PCB," he said.

Possessing opium, according to the WADA code, is considered an offence under Drug Trafficking and Possession Clause, and there is no question of one being caught in or out of competition.

Moreover, as Dubai officials, Asif has already admitted to the usage and possession of opium.

Speaking about Asif""s contention that he used opium as a herbal medicine to boost his blood pressure and energy levels, Zaheer said: 'Ignorance of the law is no excuse and it would be very difficult for Asif to win his case on this weak argument."

Asif is also facing a hearing of the Indian Premier League""s Drugs Tribunal in Mumbai on January 24.

The fast bowler is facing a possible two-year ban after failing a dope test while featuring in the inaugural IPL season last May.


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