The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) have taken dope tests of four cricket players from Pakistan, who are a part of the current Pakistan squad for the ongoing one-day international (ODI) series in England.
The players- Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Akmal-submitted their urine samples for the dope tests in London, the Daily Times reports.
Pakistan team manager, Yawar Saeed, clarified that the dope tests were a part of a routine, as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), like other boards, was a signatory to the WADA anti-doping code.
“Under this agreement, the WADA can conduct random dope tests during any competition or out of competition at any time of the year," Yawar said.
While Test players are signatories to an anti-doping code and can be subjected to dope tests by the ICC at any point of time, Pakistan cricket has been tainted by positive dope tests of star players in the past, such as star bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, who tested positive before the 2006 Champions Trophy and were subsequently banned, though the ban was removed after an appeal on technical grounds.
Asif, who is presently under provincial suspension by the ICC for his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing scandal, also served a 12-month suspension in 2008-2009 for flunking a dope test during the Indian Premier League (IPL). He was also detained for 19 days in 2008 at the Dubai airport when a small quantity of 'hashish" was found in his possession, but he was later released without any criminal charges against him.
Pakistan sports has recently been on the headlines for all the wrong reasons, as just a few weeks back, the country"s anti-doping agency had banned ten female and male athletes for testing positive both in the National Championship and during a camp for the Commonwealth Games (CWG).