The drugged cricketer December 6, 2006

WADA: less hectoring, more supervision, better evidence

Thank you all for a tremendoud debate on this important issue
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Thank you all for a tremendoud debate on this important issue. Understandably it has sharply divided opinion. It will continue to do so.

Some of you are disappointed and angry by my claim that justice has been done. My interpretation of justice is that it has two elements. First, a due process. Second, a just outcome arising from that due process. In this case, the process involved setting a board policy, educating players, monitoring their drug status, and then hearing both sides of the argument at the first tribunal. Each stage of that process was flawed (see entries in 'The drugged cricketer' category). That taken with the scientific problems with ascribing causation to the presence of nandrolone in urine (a situation that I believe is a major problem for WADA and one that it owes it to the world's premier athletes to resolve) and the players' insistence that they did not take nandrolone are sufficient reasons to give the players the benefit of the doubt.

In any organisation people look to blame those below them. It is a major failing of WADA's stance. Whatever the circumstances, the ultimate blame lies with the cricketers or athletes or tennis players, says WADA. This simplistic and idealistic view takes no account of ground realitites such as the education of sportspeople, the support they receive from their governing body, or the drug and product licensing and validation regulations in each country. A rigid policy does not even contemplate the doubts about scientific evidence. It for these reasons that sportspeople have been able to argue, with the support of lawyers, that they are innocent. WADA needs to understand that in the world of medicine and science certainty is a preciously rare commodity.

Let's take the example of medicines and other herbal products in the world's poorer countries, some of which happen to be big players in the world of cricket. The World Health Organization has a major concern over the licensing and manufacture of medicines in poorer countries. Globally, ten per cent of drugs are thought to be fake with far higher percentages in poorer countries. There are international guidelines but these countries do not have the infrastructure or the financial resources to implement them.

In short, you can't be sure that even blockbuster international drugs are real. What hope do you have when you consider supplements and herbal products, which are even less stringently regulated? There is a wealth of research evidence to support this argument.

Another example that springs to mind is a research paper that we published when I was at the BMJ. The researchers analysed several chinese herbal products and found that just under 80% of them contained a steroid that was a prescription only drug in the UK and should not have been an ingredient without proper approval. There was certainly nothing on the labelling to suggest that the products contained a steroid. If this can (and does) happen in the UK, what hope for countries like India and Pakistan?

The simple point is that it is entirely plausible that a supplement taken in all innocence could contain a banned substance.

These facts taken together could be a recipe for despair but it won't be if we focus on systems and make them optimal. The PCB's system for player education and drug monitoring has been shown to be inadequate, possibly pathetic. Who at the PCB will take responsibility for that failure of management and leadership?

The ICC is supposed to be responsible for the conduct of its cricket boards and standardisation of procedures. You might have imagined that the ICC would have got its house in order after the Shane Warne diuretic controversy (an innocent attempt at weight loss or an attempt to mask more serious illicit drug use?). Who at the ICC will take responsibility for this failure of management and leadership?

Finally, what's the point of WADA if it cannot ensure that its signatories follow proper procedures and maintain standards. We hear a great deal of hectoring from WADA but what about hearing more about its attempts at supervision of governing bodies? What about hearing more about its efforts to improve our understanding of how performance-enhancing drugs are abused, metabolised, and identified? What about hearing more about efforts to assist countries that might not have the infratructure or the financial resources to develop watertight systems on their own? Who at WADA will take responsibility for these failure of managemenet and leadership?

Yes, of course, despite all these system failures the players may have taken performance-enhancing drugs deliberately. To believe that to be impossible would be foolhardy. But this is exactly why there has to be due process from beginning to end, a system that sportsmen and sportswomen will trust. Only then can you implement a zero-tolerance policy. Only then can you ruin people's careers and destroy their reputations. Some sports have got their houses in order. Cricket clearly has not.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Eddi on November 11, 2011, 23:13 GMT

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  • mygirlisgood on February 15, 2007, 19:25 GMT

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  • wendywonder on February 7, 2007, 3:15 GMT

    Hello! 

    Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here is the story of my dog called Shandy. He was my favourite pet and he was very lively, lots of fun and very obedient. His main passion in life was to be taken for a long walk, culminating with a big run out in his favourite park. I would try to take him on this walk everyday, weather permitting. The park itself was about three miles away from our house. What do you think?

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  • Haris Ahmed on December 20, 2006, 6:35 GMT

    I feel that Shoaib Ahktar is on drugs still and pakistan felt sorry for their decision as they did not have a strong wicket taker. Naveed ul hasan is an exception. Gul is simply a bowler who resides on the batsman to make a mistake rather than him making a great ball. Although he has the best line and length in the squad. I feel that Asif and Akhtar and Hasan should be left in the attack. Afridi should be banned. HE SUX

  • Dawar on December 13, 2006, 17:50 GMT

    We lost in Multan. I do not understand double standard of the management, selection committee or Captain who ever making below decisions.

    From last few series A. Razzak, Kamran Akmal & Shoaib Malik is not performing well. But they are still part of our national team. On other hand before multan one day we did not select out of form players Shahid Afridi and Mohd. Sami. Other day Inzamam on TV interview mentioned that this is a part of their policy to send out of form players to the first class cricket. Once they will recover their form we will call them.

    Why this policy is not applying on current out of form players such as A Razzak, Shoaib Malik & Kamran Akmal.

    Please also note: Few series back we also took out in form palyers from our national team, such as Asim Kamal who always performed well in his short career, Faisal Iqbal just after scoring 58 not out in England test, he was out in next test. Captain also ignored Yasir Hamid.

    I think we should keep Afridi instead of Shoaib Malik and Faisal Iqbal instaed of A. Razak.

    Dawar LA, USA

  • sayfullah on December 13, 2006, 5:50 GMT

    shoaib will win the world cup for paks so everyone else shut up and watch

  • King0fHearts on December 12, 2006, 23:26 GMT

    There are many reasons for what i think that decision of over turning Ban on Asif and Shoaib were correct. The important one is that PCB should be held responsible for teaching the players about WADA Policies. And secondly, Cricket is a game which is not very much effected by taking drugs. You cannot enhance your line and length or your batting technique by drugs. It can effect your fitness but it certainly does not matter that much. I hope ICC and WADA get their sticks on PCB but not the players. ICC and PCB should get their acts right before asking players to do so.

    and - do whatever to get good cricket.

  • nasir on December 12, 2006, 21:20 GMT

    I think whether shoaib and asif took the drugs knowingly or unknowlingly, they should be prevented from taking part in any competitive cricket match to ensure fairness. How can they be allowed to compete in matches despite having performance enhancing drugs in their system.

    To maintain fairness, PCB should have cleared the players of guilt but prevented them from playing until their urine samples turned up clear.

  • Amin-ur Rehman on December 12, 2006, 17:25 GMT

    I have gone through nice commentary on this issue.Kamran Abbassi is wonderful in analysis of issues.Let me add something to the real issue. After aquital of both the players by the Review Commission, WADA and ICC are trying to show their muscles. WADA has shown an intent to appeal against the decision and ICC with a bold double face has condemned the revised decision,whereas, they had appreciated the first decision becuase it suited all the CRICKET POWERS(Australia,England,NewZealand,SouthAfrica). ICC is making heck of money from everything, rights,fee etc. but would anyone educate me on one thing? Has ICC ever thought anything about the current players who are giving their blood to the game?Has ICC any medical board to help the fast degenerating players due to rigours of fast paced game(20-20 the latest format adopted to drain the players)? ICC will come up with the explanation that its the responsibility of respective Boards. Very True then why we have a regulator in the shape of ICC? Both WADA and ICC are just good for nothing as far as doping issues are concerned.Can you please provide me the diet program of any of Australian,English, New Zealander or SouthAfrican fast bowlers? How much ICC has invested in eduction of players and their training? Sorry the reply would be a Big NO.ICC needs to put its house in order.Cricket is no more a gentlemen game or a white's game, now its a game of POWER PLAY and powerful win it. Sir, can u provide me the diet and training schedule of Mr.Brett Lee, Mr.McGrath,Mr.Pollock? Whenever some bowler from sub-continent threatens their rankings he is in trouble why? If Mr.Lee can be seen chucking with naked eye why the super slowmo cams cant pick him? Look at the action of Mr.Pollock? What the hell Mr.Nell keeps on doing on the field withe batsmen? Is it a gentlemen game now? No Sir, you are playing for your country and you have to win whether you abuse the opponents like Australians or South Africans. MrBoycott is on record to say that all time biggest sledger is McGrath then why he has not received a single warning from any umpire? All the Australians were united behind Mr.Darrell Hair (less) umpire after what he did to crciket in England. What if Mr.Asad Rauf or Mr.Aleem Dar would have done the same? The topic is open to comments please but eductae me as well on my confusions?

  • Eddi on November 11, 2011, 23:13 GMT

    How neat! Is it rlealy this simple? You make it look easy.

  • My Amazing Weight Loss Story on April 29, 2009, 2:30 GMT

    Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

  • mygirlisgood on February 15, 2007, 19:25 GMT

    Hi there 

    How do you change the size of your monitor?

    By the way, I love that too!  Where did you get that at?  

    See you soon! Girly Girl 

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  • wendywonder on February 7, 2007, 3:15 GMT

    Hello! 

    Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here is the story of my dog called Shandy. He was my favourite pet and he was very lively, lots of fun and very obedient. His main passion in life was to be taken for a long walk, culminating with a big run out in his favourite park. I would try to take him on this walk everyday, weather permitting. The park itself was about three miles away from our house. What do you think?

    By the way, I love that too!  Where did you get that at?  

    See you soon! WonderGirl 

    how I make money with paid surveys

  • Haris Ahmed on December 20, 2006, 6:35 GMT

    I feel that Shoaib Ahktar is on drugs still and pakistan felt sorry for their decision as they did not have a strong wicket taker. Naveed ul hasan is an exception. Gul is simply a bowler who resides on the batsman to make a mistake rather than him making a great ball. Although he has the best line and length in the squad. I feel that Asif and Akhtar and Hasan should be left in the attack. Afridi should be banned. HE SUX

  • Dawar on December 13, 2006, 17:50 GMT

    We lost in Multan. I do not understand double standard of the management, selection committee or Captain who ever making below decisions.

    From last few series A. Razzak, Kamran Akmal & Shoaib Malik is not performing well. But they are still part of our national team. On other hand before multan one day we did not select out of form players Shahid Afridi and Mohd. Sami. Other day Inzamam on TV interview mentioned that this is a part of their policy to send out of form players to the first class cricket. Once they will recover their form we will call them.

    Why this policy is not applying on current out of form players such as A Razzak, Shoaib Malik & Kamran Akmal.

    Please also note: Few series back we also took out in form palyers from our national team, such as Asim Kamal who always performed well in his short career, Faisal Iqbal just after scoring 58 not out in England test, he was out in next test. Captain also ignored Yasir Hamid.

    I think we should keep Afridi instead of Shoaib Malik and Faisal Iqbal instaed of A. Razak.

    Dawar LA, USA

  • sayfullah on December 13, 2006, 5:50 GMT

    shoaib will win the world cup for paks so everyone else shut up and watch

  • King0fHearts on December 12, 2006, 23:26 GMT

    There are many reasons for what i think that decision of over turning Ban on Asif and Shoaib were correct. The important one is that PCB should be held responsible for teaching the players about WADA Policies. And secondly, Cricket is a game which is not very much effected by taking drugs. You cannot enhance your line and length or your batting technique by drugs. It can effect your fitness but it certainly does not matter that much. I hope ICC and WADA get their sticks on PCB but not the players. ICC and PCB should get their acts right before asking players to do so.

    and - do whatever to get good cricket.

  • nasir on December 12, 2006, 21:20 GMT

    I think whether shoaib and asif took the drugs knowingly or unknowlingly, they should be prevented from taking part in any competitive cricket match to ensure fairness. How can they be allowed to compete in matches despite having performance enhancing drugs in their system.

    To maintain fairness, PCB should have cleared the players of guilt but prevented them from playing until their urine samples turned up clear.

  • Amin-ur Rehman on December 12, 2006, 17:25 GMT

    I have gone through nice commentary on this issue.Kamran Abbassi is wonderful in analysis of issues.Let me add something to the real issue. After aquital of both the players by the Review Commission, WADA and ICC are trying to show their muscles. WADA has shown an intent to appeal against the decision and ICC with a bold double face has condemned the revised decision,whereas, they had appreciated the first decision becuase it suited all the CRICKET POWERS(Australia,England,NewZealand,SouthAfrica). ICC is making heck of money from everything, rights,fee etc. but would anyone educate me on one thing? Has ICC ever thought anything about the current players who are giving their blood to the game?Has ICC any medical board to help the fast degenerating players due to rigours of fast paced game(20-20 the latest format adopted to drain the players)? ICC will come up with the explanation that its the responsibility of respective Boards. Very True then why we have a regulator in the shape of ICC? Both WADA and ICC are just good for nothing as far as doping issues are concerned.Can you please provide me the diet program of any of Australian,English, New Zealander or SouthAfrican fast bowlers? How much ICC has invested in eduction of players and their training? Sorry the reply would be a Big NO.ICC needs to put its house in order.Cricket is no more a gentlemen game or a white's game, now its a game of POWER PLAY and powerful win it. Sir, can u provide me the diet and training schedule of Mr.Brett Lee, Mr.McGrath,Mr.Pollock? Whenever some bowler from sub-continent threatens their rankings he is in trouble why? If Mr.Lee can be seen chucking with naked eye why the super slowmo cams cant pick him? Look at the action of Mr.Pollock? What the hell Mr.Nell keeps on doing on the field withe batsmen? Is it a gentlemen game now? No Sir, you are playing for your country and you have to win whether you abuse the opponents like Australians or South Africans. MrBoycott is on record to say that all time biggest sledger is McGrath then why he has not received a single warning from any umpire? All the Australians were united behind Mr.Darrell Hair (less) umpire after what he did to crciket in England. What if Mr.Asad Rauf or Mr.Aleem Dar would have done the same? The topic is open to comments please but eductae me as well on my confusions?

  • Razik on December 12, 2006, 12:48 GMT

    Only in a country like Pakistan where favoritism rules over professionalism, such things can happen. Mind this, Shoaib and Asif are not proved innocents. They were found to have nandroline in their system. Just to blame the procedures for the crime doesn't answer the issue. Let's hope that professionalism comes in Pak team.

  • Spaceman! on December 12, 2006, 3:42 GMT

    The problem is, the 2 players in question have not been cleared of the charges. As things stand, they are guilty - not by me or anybody else, but their own board - but are being treated as innocent. Neither player contested the charge of having nandrelone in their systems, but instead chose to deny that they took it intentionally, which was never the issue. Both refused to have their B-samples tested. Why not? If they were convinced of their innocence, they should have done. Not doing so was the act of guilty individuals. The 2 players are guilty of the charge brought against them, ghave been found guilty and that ruling has not been overturned, merely the punishment. To condone this is as disgraceful as the matter itself and sends out entirely the wrong message to the world. The Laws of the game are there for a reason. Ignore them and the game risks being plunged into chaos.

  • Imran Zia on December 8, 2006, 21:25 GMT

    I think most of us here are very keen followers of the game and most of us may have played it at some level. This qualifies us to understand the fact that in the game of cricket, more than half of the game is played inside the mind. If you need evidence of that it is worth witnessing the Ashes or the contest between India and Pakistan. The rivalry and motivation is at a different level with the difference in opposition. In these contests player of ordinary talents can become extraordinary players but even the best can crumble with the pressure. It is also worth mentioning the technique, rhythm, and skill are more important in cricket than physical fitness. You can take all the steroid in the world but you cannot bowl fast if you dont have the right action. A 6'7" Jake Oram bowls at merely 128kph and a 5'10" Mohd. Sami can bowl at 150+ proves my point. We have seen players of the stature of Darren Lehman, Gurusinha, Inzimam, Ranatunga and WG Grace play the game at the highest level. We have seen Aamir Sohail score a century in fever. We have seen Salim Malik bat with a broken foot. All I want is to say is that peformance enhancing drugs can not positively affect a players performance in the game of cricket as it would do in other sports. The hectic schedules the players have to face and the quantity of cricket being played nowadays this phenomenon will be common in the near future despite its repurcussions. We have seen once a player is out of the national side it becomes impossible for them to make a return. We have in front of us the example of Azhar Mahmood and Saqlain Mushtaq. If Shoaib Akhtar after sustaining the injury against England in the home series would have not recovered in time he would have been out of Pakistan's plans. I think this is enough motivation for a player to take a shortcut. My question to Mr Kamran Abbasi is that "Is doping really an issue in cricket?"

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 8, 2006, 7:43 GMT

    Zahra

    Well done, its good to see that you raised the point of Navojot Sidhu. Its almost 18 years since that road rage incident when Navojot Sidhu took the life of that innocent guy. And he got off the hook and people almost forgot about it and like you say Mr. Cool has gone for 3 twelves. In fact after that incident he was enjoying a "Betta-Loife". And he became more popular through his verbosity and effluence and was considered as an excellent commentator and he even went in to politics and was elected as a member of the Parliament. (This is not new in India, that famous "Lady Dacoit" or "Flower Goddess" also earned the post of a Minister after killing hundreds of people). Such is the justice system in that country it took 18 years to pass a judgment against Sidhu. The funny bit is he is still on bail, and have the right to appeal against the judgment and he can extend this case to another 18 years or may be more. So there are many a slip between the cup and the lip.

    People have also forgotten about Sudhir Naik's case, (1974 opening batsman with Gavaskar) his shop lifting incident in London at Marks and Spencer Stores. That poor chap was only stealing a pair of socks and he was caught. I am only trying to bring this to the attention of our readers that people always forget what others have done, but they publicize, talk, discuss and create a mountain out of the mole to tarnish the image of Pakistan or the Pakistani team.

    Euceph Bhai,

    kabhi tou baaz ajao.....Ghalib tou Ghalib hai,...Kehtay hain kay Euceph ka hai andaaz-e-bayaan aur!

    I really don't understand why you are so bitter about Kamran's views on this doping issue. You are trying to say that by acquitting Shoaib and Asif, it will encourage others as they have set the precedent that one can get off even after consuming anabolic steroids or performance enhancement drugs?

    I don't think it will happen again. Because this incident has created so much awareness among the people that knowingly no one would ever dare to consume anything that will enhance their performance. After Darrel Hair's incident umpires will think twice before forfeiting a match or calling the other team a cheat.

    I see that you always try to differ from the majority, is it something that you do only to be noticed? Or is it something that it makes you feel happy? I know there are a lot of people who always love to argue just for the sake of argument. Its very easy to criticize someone or find faults, but what is your view, opinion and what would have you done if you were to decide? Ban Shoaib and Asif for life? Give a medal of excellence to those who conducted this doping test and also to those who banned them earlier? If you have anything to say, please go ahead and say..... this is my opinion. But, you never give your opinion, you simply criticize and that too just for the heck of it.

    Shame

    You are saying they took Nandrolone. The accused are denying the charge, they are saying they didn't. The experts (scientists) are saying that it is possible that Nandrolone could be produced endogenously, that means without any pills or tablets or drugs! And that is the basis of their acquittal and that was the basis of the acquittal of all other athletes who were initially tested positive of Nandrolone. Its a shame that you don't understand this simple point and its a shame that I cannot explain to you any further.

  • Ashaq on December 8, 2006, 3:12 GMT

    SHAME>Being somebody who has participated in boxing at an amateur level be it many years ago.And a keen follower of the sport I have too say that I have never heard off boxers useing moduretic too help lose weight.Given that losss off fluid on the brain due too dehydration is considered too be primarily responsible for brain injury among boxers.I presume that any boxer using this diuretic would be putting his life on the line.Although I know that moduretic Is used by BOdybuilders in competitions too create the ripped look.AS for this issue regarding Akhtar,and Asif I think its time that Mr.Kamran Abbasi was more critical off the Prima donnas in the pakistan squad.It seems too me that Mr Abbasi considers everyone resposible for shoaibs attitude except shoaib himself.The pcb is responsible the captains is responsible the coach is responsible the icc is responsible WADA is responsible.THe guy is 31 years old its time he took responsibility for his own actions.Akhtar should stop behaving like a spoilt 5 year old.The problem is that there is no code off discipline players are allowed too get away with anything.If the PCB drops a player or discipline him for bad behaviour,the guys in the Media come out all guns blazing in support off the player.In any other country he would have been discarded long ago.Your blind support for Afridi is also a case in point.

  • Shame on December 8, 2006, 0:22 GMT

    Javed, masking anabolic steroids is only one use of diuretics such as Moduretic. They cause the body to lose weight through loss of fluid, which is why they are widely used by boxers to cheat before the weigh-in.

    It's laughable to say that someone caught with a drug in their system that MIGHT be masking steroid use is worse than someone being caught with actual steroids.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 8, 2006, 0:08 GMT

    Question for Kamran Abbassi

    Do you think it is an ethical and professional thing for the commentators to discuss issues other than the game that is being played?

    1. Ramiz Raja said, 'Shoaib and Asif will have to live with that taint from the rest of their lives'. This is just a comment.

    2. December 07, 2006 during the New Zealand - Sri Lanka 1st test match before lunch, the two New Zealand commentators Ian Smith and McAlevey ( I am not sure about the later's spelling) were discussing at length about the acquittal of Shoaib and Asif. It wasn't just a discussion but direct, straight forward criticism towards PCB and Pakistan for reversing this decision and were saying this is absolutely stupid and ridiculous decision were suggesting that ICC should STOP THIS NONSENSE ..........went on and on....talking more in detail.

    Personally, I think it is none of their business to discuss this issue LIVE especially since their job is nothing more than commentating about the game that is in progress. If they wish to discuss something else about cricket in reference to the game they should do so but, they should NOT be allowed to air personal critical views about some other country which is not even playing at that time. It is definitely unethical and unprofessional and must be stopped.

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 7, 2006, 23:04 GMT

    Kamran,

    You could have maintained a nice balance in your view point by turning to the other side of this debate relating to player responsibility and their job as role models. Instead, you chose to extend your argument by presenting a cynical view of the “system” and leading your readers into believing that it wasn’t the players, it’s the system that needs fixing. Adulterated supplements, WADA and ICC not doing their job, laying the blame on PCB, all of that stuff is fine. However, the fact remains that two players of the Pakistan team tested positive for banned substances and they got off the hook. Your argument, regardless of the colour you put to it, only goes to show the lengths people would go to in order to defend their biases. It’s not as complicated as you make it seem. It’s a straight forward position – are you in favour of the use of anabolic steroids by athletes and sportsman or not? Do you believe that it gives an unfair advantage to some people and creates a non-level playing field for others? In short, do you agree that it taints the competitive spirit of the game, the very basic element of any sport? Reading your post I get the feeling that you are against doping in sports as long as it doesn’t involve your favorite athletes. You’re going to be against it when others do it, but you would dig out and cite all the legal technicalities and medical mumbo jumbo when it involves players you would like in the team. I hope you’re aware that another bad precedent has been set. I hope you don’t cry foul when others use the same argument of fixing the system first to defend their players.

    kaabay kis moo say jaao gay Ghalib Sharm tum ko magar nahi aati.....

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 7, 2006, 22:21 GMT

    WHAT A SHAME.......you don't know the whole story and then you are comparing apples with oranges.

    SHANE WARNE used "Moduretic" (a kind of diuretic pill) which is used as a MASKING AGENT as a cover up for anabolic steroids. You think he only used a fluid pill? To which he pleaded innocent by saying my grandmother gave it to me....... that pill is called "Moduretic".

    This is much more sinister than Shoaib and Asif taking any banned substance unknowingly....It is better if you find out the facts first before you start whining like the OZ's

  • Shame on December 7, 2006, 6:13 GMT

    What a farce. Shane Warne pleaded ignorance and the panel ruled that he was nonetheless reckless and at fault for not checking with a doctor. What's more, Warne took a mere fluid pill with no performance enhancing qualities at all - these players have been caught with steroids. The sporting reputation of Pakistan will be permanently tainted by this disgrace.

  • Arif Rashid on December 7, 2006, 0:07 GMT

    Although the right result came out, it could very well be that a person like Shoaib knew that the system was so messed up so and doped with little fear, and that would not surprise me.

    That aside, what needs to be done is that the actual physical batches of medicine these players purchased need to be tested, and I would imagine that was possible, because usually supplements are bought in big containers. If there is none left, oh well...

    I think we should all get back to normal now, the WADA is going to complain, but as Kamran said, there absolute player blame rule just cannot apply to a place like Pakistan, especially the PCB. Just how fortunate are we that this contrevorsy(sp) is taking place in the jurisdiction of the PCB and not in not the ICC!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 6, 2006, 22:11 GMT

    Hear, hear, hear, more details from Kamran Abbasi and more debate is expected. Whichever side Kamran may have taken or would take, my stance on Shoaib and Asif will remain the same from the day I came to know about their ban. Kamran with his medicine background and his association with BMJ has more knowledge about the drugs and its trade. As a lay person, I was also asking the same question about why and how these countries are allowing these ban drugs in the market and that too one could buy OTC. And due to lack of labeling and detailed drug info these herbal medicines which contain steroids are available in countries like U.K. .

    Here in North America, when it comes to regular medicines under the allopathic medicine programme the regulations are very stringent and have to be approved by FDA. Whereas, the naturopathy or medicines under the Naturopathy programme are available everywhere, its a booming business. Besides the stores, there are so many "witch doctors" in disguise that at every nook and corner there is a teena, meena or neena practicing as an expert doctor in naturopathy.

    There are hundreds of them and thriving. So, I agree that accountability and responsibility must go hand in hand and not just follow the directives of ICC or WADA or even PCB and then punish the players, in any case Shoaib and Asif's case was not the same as Shane Warne's which was more sinister as I have said before, 'coz he knew it and even used the masking agent to cover it up. Now this issue has created so much awareness in the cricketing world that every single player would be taking note of it and there will not be a question of rights only but a matter of obligation too. They players are now obliged to be more alert and more careful about what they are eating or drinking.

  • Zahra on December 6, 2006, 22:02 GMT

    Even some of the most educated cricketers, try'na ying yang out yougurt, with no intention to do it. Navjot Sidhu, the showy player, tries to be cool with his lame jokes on tele aginst paki player. Mr Cool gone for 3 twelves.

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  • Zahra on December 6, 2006, 22:02 GMT

    Even some of the most educated cricketers, try'na ying yang out yougurt, with no intention to do it. Navjot Sidhu, the showy player, tries to be cool with his lame jokes on tele aginst paki player. Mr Cool gone for 3 twelves.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 6, 2006, 22:11 GMT

    Hear, hear, hear, more details from Kamran Abbasi and more debate is expected. Whichever side Kamran may have taken or would take, my stance on Shoaib and Asif will remain the same from the day I came to know about their ban. Kamran with his medicine background and his association with BMJ has more knowledge about the drugs and its trade. As a lay person, I was also asking the same question about why and how these countries are allowing these ban drugs in the market and that too one could buy OTC. And due to lack of labeling and detailed drug info these herbal medicines which contain steroids are available in countries like U.K. .

    Here in North America, when it comes to regular medicines under the allopathic medicine programme the regulations are very stringent and have to be approved by FDA. Whereas, the naturopathy or medicines under the Naturopathy programme are available everywhere, its a booming business. Besides the stores, there are so many "witch doctors" in disguise that at every nook and corner there is a teena, meena or neena practicing as an expert doctor in naturopathy.

    There are hundreds of them and thriving. So, I agree that accountability and responsibility must go hand in hand and not just follow the directives of ICC or WADA or even PCB and then punish the players, in any case Shoaib and Asif's case was not the same as Shane Warne's which was more sinister as I have said before, 'coz he knew it and even used the masking agent to cover it up. Now this issue has created so much awareness in the cricketing world that every single player would be taking note of it and there will not be a question of rights only but a matter of obligation too. They players are now obliged to be more alert and more careful about what they are eating or drinking.

  • Arif Rashid on December 7, 2006, 0:07 GMT

    Although the right result came out, it could very well be that a person like Shoaib knew that the system was so messed up so and doped with little fear, and that would not surprise me.

    That aside, what needs to be done is that the actual physical batches of medicine these players purchased need to be tested, and I would imagine that was possible, because usually supplements are bought in big containers. If there is none left, oh well...

    I think we should all get back to normal now, the WADA is going to complain, but as Kamran said, there absolute player blame rule just cannot apply to a place like Pakistan, especially the PCB. Just how fortunate are we that this contrevorsy(sp) is taking place in the jurisdiction of the PCB and not in not the ICC!

  • Shame on December 7, 2006, 6:13 GMT

    What a farce. Shane Warne pleaded ignorance and the panel ruled that he was nonetheless reckless and at fault for not checking with a doctor. What's more, Warne took a mere fluid pill with no performance enhancing qualities at all - these players have been caught with steroids. The sporting reputation of Pakistan will be permanently tainted by this disgrace.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 7, 2006, 22:21 GMT

    WHAT A SHAME.......you don't know the whole story and then you are comparing apples with oranges.

    SHANE WARNE used "Moduretic" (a kind of diuretic pill) which is used as a MASKING AGENT as a cover up for anabolic steroids. You think he only used a fluid pill? To which he pleaded innocent by saying my grandmother gave it to me....... that pill is called "Moduretic".

    This is much more sinister than Shoaib and Asif taking any banned substance unknowingly....It is better if you find out the facts first before you start whining like the OZ's

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 7, 2006, 23:04 GMT

    Kamran,

    You could have maintained a nice balance in your view point by turning to the other side of this debate relating to player responsibility and their job as role models. Instead, you chose to extend your argument by presenting a cynical view of the “system” and leading your readers into believing that it wasn’t the players, it’s the system that needs fixing. Adulterated supplements, WADA and ICC not doing their job, laying the blame on PCB, all of that stuff is fine. However, the fact remains that two players of the Pakistan team tested positive for banned substances and they got off the hook. Your argument, regardless of the colour you put to it, only goes to show the lengths people would go to in order to defend their biases. It’s not as complicated as you make it seem. It’s a straight forward position – are you in favour of the use of anabolic steroids by athletes and sportsman or not? Do you believe that it gives an unfair advantage to some people and creates a non-level playing field for others? In short, do you agree that it taints the competitive spirit of the game, the very basic element of any sport? Reading your post I get the feeling that you are against doping in sports as long as it doesn’t involve your favorite athletes. You’re going to be against it when others do it, but you would dig out and cite all the legal technicalities and medical mumbo jumbo when it involves players you would like in the team. I hope you’re aware that another bad precedent has been set. I hope you don’t cry foul when others use the same argument of fixing the system first to defend their players.

    kaabay kis moo say jaao gay Ghalib Sharm tum ko magar nahi aati.....

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 8, 2006, 0:08 GMT

    Question for Kamran Abbassi

    Do you think it is an ethical and professional thing for the commentators to discuss issues other than the game that is being played?

    1. Ramiz Raja said, 'Shoaib and Asif will have to live with that taint from the rest of their lives'. This is just a comment.

    2. December 07, 2006 during the New Zealand - Sri Lanka 1st test match before lunch, the two New Zealand commentators Ian Smith and McAlevey ( I am not sure about the later's spelling) were discussing at length about the acquittal of Shoaib and Asif. It wasn't just a discussion but direct, straight forward criticism towards PCB and Pakistan for reversing this decision and were saying this is absolutely stupid and ridiculous decision were suggesting that ICC should STOP THIS NONSENSE ..........went on and on....talking more in detail.

    Personally, I think it is none of their business to discuss this issue LIVE especially since their job is nothing more than commentating about the game that is in progress. If they wish to discuss something else about cricket in reference to the game they should do so but, they should NOT be allowed to air personal critical views about some other country which is not even playing at that time. It is definitely unethical and unprofessional and must be stopped.

  • Shame on December 8, 2006, 0:22 GMT

    Javed, masking anabolic steroids is only one use of diuretics such as Moduretic. They cause the body to lose weight through loss of fluid, which is why they are widely used by boxers to cheat before the weigh-in.

    It's laughable to say that someone caught with a drug in their system that MIGHT be masking steroid use is worse than someone being caught with actual steroids.

  • Ashaq on December 8, 2006, 3:12 GMT

    SHAME>Being somebody who has participated in boxing at an amateur level be it many years ago.And a keen follower of the sport I have too say that I have never heard off boxers useing moduretic too help lose weight.Given that losss off fluid on the brain due too dehydration is considered too be primarily responsible for brain injury among boxers.I presume that any boxer using this diuretic would be putting his life on the line.Although I know that moduretic Is used by BOdybuilders in competitions too create the ripped look.AS for this issue regarding Akhtar,and Asif I think its time that Mr.Kamran Abbasi was more critical off the Prima donnas in the pakistan squad.It seems too me that Mr Abbasi considers everyone resposible for shoaibs attitude except shoaib himself.The pcb is responsible the captains is responsible the coach is responsible the icc is responsible WADA is responsible.THe guy is 31 years old its time he took responsibility for his own actions.Akhtar should stop behaving like a spoilt 5 year old.The problem is that there is no code off discipline players are allowed too get away with anything.If the PCB drops a player or discipline him for bad behaviour,the guys in the Media come out all guns blazing in support off the player.In any other country he would have been discarded long ago.Your blind support for Afridi is also a case in point.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 8, 2006, 7:43 GMT

    Zahra

    Well done, its good to see that you raised the point of Navojot Sidhu. Its almost 18 years since that road rage incident when Navojot Sidhu took the life of that innocent guy. And he got off the hook and people almost forgot about it and like you say Mr. Cool has gone for 3 twelves. In fact after that incident he was enjoying a "Betta-Loife". And he became more popular through his verbosity and effluence and was considered as an excellent commentator and he even went in to politics and was elected as a member of the Parliament. (This is not new in India, that famous "Lady Dacoit" or "Flower Goddess" also earned the post of a Minister after killing hundreds of people). Such is the justice system in that country it took 18 years to pass a judgment against Sidhu. The funny bit is he is still on bail, and have the right to appeal against the judgment and he can extend this case to another 18 years or may be more. So there are many a slip between the cup and the lip.

    People have also forgotten about Sudhir Naik's case, (1974 opening batsman with Gavaskar) his shop lifting incident in London at Marks and Spencer Stores. That poor chap was only stealing a pair of socks and he was caught. I am only trying to bring this to the attention of our readers that people always forget what others have done, but they publicize, talk, discuss and create a mountain out of the mole to tarnish the image of Pakistan or the Pakistani team.

    Euceph Bhai,

    kabhi tou baaz ajao.....Ghalib tou Ghalib hai,...Kehtay hain kay Euceph ka hai andaaz-e-bayaan aur!

    I really don't understand why you are so bitter about Kamran's views on this doping issue. You are trying to say that by acquitting Shoaib and Asif, it will encourage others as they have set the precedent that one can get off even after consuming anabolic steroids or performance enhancement drugs?

    I don't think it will happen again. Because this incident has created so much awareness among the people that knowingly no one would ever dare to consume anything that will enhance their performance. After Darrel Hair's incident umpires will think twice before forfeiting a match or calling the other team a cheat.

    I see that you always try to differ from the majority, is it something that you do only to be noticed? Or is it something that it makes you feel happy? I know there are a lot of people who always love to argue just for the sake of argument. Its very easy to criticize someone or find faults, but what is your view, opinion and what would have you done if you were to decide? Ban Shoaib and Asif for life? Give a medal of excellence to those who conducted this doping test and also to those who banned them earlier? If you have anything to say, please go ahead and say..... this is my opinion. But, you never give your opinion, you simply criticize and that too just for the heck of it.

    Shame

    You are saying they took Nandrolone. The accused are denying the charge, they are saying they didn't. The experts (scientists) are saying that it is possible that Nandrolone could be produced endogenously, that means without any pills or tablets or drugs! And that is the basis of their acquittal and that was the basis of the acquittal of all other athletes who were initially tested positive of Nandrolone. Its a shame that you don't understand this simple point and its a shame that I cannot explain to you any further.