The drugged cricketer December 22, 2006

WADA yadda yadda

WADA's appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is an unusual one in that it is bypassing cricket's ruling body
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WADA's appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is an unusual one in that it is bypassing cricket's ruling body. The ICC has examined its own regulations where it is written as clear as day that the ICC code applies to ICC events. The court of arbitration and WADA boast even longer documents about their rules of engagement, and a first glance at these does not make it immediately obvious whether or not the court of arbitration has any jurisdiction in this instance. Where there is any room for doubt expect lawyers to jump in with arguments that might take an eternity to resolve. If the PCB does not accept the court of arbitration's jurisdiction in this case and the ICC believes that its own code does not apply to the PCB's out of tournament testing--the fact that this is not a joint application by WADA and ICC speaks volumes in my view--we could be in for the biggest farce in the history of sport. Presumably it was not beyond the wit of man or woman for WADA, ICC, and PCB to have done a little scenario planning and risk management before they signed up to the various doping codes and processes.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • wasim on January 18, 2007, 22:57 GMT

    frankly i believe the pcb's decision to throw out the suspension o f the concerned players is disgusting. they effectively admitted to doping when they refuse to have their b sample tested. in any other country it would seem this sort of admission would result in penalty and suspension, but not in pakistan. All you appenrently have to do is admit to it and say you didn't realise, this is a farce. pleading ignorance to rules and regulations to which your country should abide by wheather its the pcb, icc or wada doing the testing they should be held to the highest standard, they are after all playing international cricket on the world stage. look what happened to shane warne, true the testing was done in a different situation, but it he didn't realise exactly what he had taken but he admitted responsibility and took the punishment. pakistan's cricket players pleaded ignorance and blamed everyone else they could for their positive results, disgraceful. And it is a wonder pakistan comes under so much scrutiny as a cricketing nation by everyone else, we don't want to play by their rules we have our own, if things don't suit us we'll complain about it, ie the hair incident. frankly its about time the pcb stand up, grow up and actully hold themselves to a world standard like everyone else instead oof trying to bend, change, manipulate and operate by their own set of rules and standards. THEY SHOULD BE BANNED

  • Jaja on January 17, 2007, 9:42 GMT

    Quick thought, if M Asif was found with steroids in his body, so what? How could they possibly have given him an unfair advantage? His bowling is effective because of his consistent line and length, what use would steroids have been? referring to Akhtar I see a slight case, given that his bowling style is a lot about pace, but how would steroids have unfairly helped him bowl yorkers, slower balls etc.

  • Anurudda on January 6, 2007, 21:15 GMT

    Kamran, I am a Sri Lankan and have been following the debate on use of drugs in sports with great interest and find your blog entertaining, balanced, objective and free from bias, though some of the responses to your comments have been over the top and jingoistic. In this regard I wish to draw your attention to the following commentary on Sri Lanka’s champion sprinter Susanthika Jayasighe, the only Asian to win a medal in the short sprints at the Olympics and in my humble opinion, an effort that was far superior to Sri Lanka’s 1996 world cup win (rationale, world cup features a maximum of dozen teams whereas there are over 150 nations competing at the Olympics)

    “In 1995, during a meet held in Indonesia, she (Susanthika) returned a positive drug test and was facing a suspension from the International Association of Athletics Federations [IAAF]. But the Sri Lankan federation backed her claim that the test had shown a wrong result and a team of doctors pitched in to help prove to the Toyota testing labs that there had been errors in the test. She was cleared. She was tested again in 1998 for steroid use, and one urine test showed large quantities of nandrolone. She said the test was suspect because the urine sample was not properly sealed in her presence and she was not accompanied by a personal representative, a right guaranteed by law. "It was a trick. I was checked after every race, and there was no problem," she said. She said she had taken various medicines ordered by her doctors but that she knew nothing about nandrolone. In 1999, the IAAF exonerated her of all doping charges, saying Sri Lankan athletic authorities had failed to establish a conclusive case against her. The decision freed her to compete in the Olympic Games in Sydney. (AFP 10/12/98) “

    source of article http://www.doha-2006.com/gis/SPORTS/CO/IGCOParticipantInfo.aspx?Register=0005814446 )

    The reason I reproduced the above is to show that the system is flawed and irrespective of the guilt or otherwise of Akhtar and Asif, the existing system, process and procedures are inadequate. Not only Susanthika but even Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones was accused and subsequently cleared of taking drugs though her present and previous husbands, Tim Montgomery and C.J.Hunter were banned. (Incidentally will the IAAF expunge the record of Montgomery since he is a cheat?). Also world record holder of both the women’s’ 100 and 200 meters Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo Jo) died at a very young age under mysterious circumstances soon after that astounding effort . No woman has come close to beating that record in the last 22 years. That should be another world record! Further, Base ball players Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire (he had the highest number of home runs in a season) have been under a cloud of suspicion for most of their respective careers.

    My point is, its easy to level charges against a Sportsman, Celebrity, Politician or a layman but such an accusation should be backed up with proper and adequate evidence. Personally I have no sympathy for Shoaib Akhtar who is too much of a showboat for my liking. He is over rated and not a true great like Imran, Akram or Waqar. However , this is not a popularity contest and who am I to deprive Akhtar , Marion Jones or Susanthika Jaysasighe of their livelihood unless the use of performance enhancing drugs is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt .The mere presence of minute quantities of nandralone , stanazalol or any other drug should not automatically mean a death sentence nor give arm chair critics a license to character assassinate a player.The comment by Inthikab Alam on Akhtar’s nocturnal activities is laughable , the criterion for selection should be skill on the field not religiosity or lack of it .If Akhtar can hurtle a ball at 100 m.p.h. , no one should bother if he cavorts with actresses/ fashion models off the playing field . Seems like ever since Inzamam started growing a beard, the clean shaven guys are having a tough time. As mentioned earlier , if Akhtar can bowl 25 overs and 10 overs in the Test and ODI respectively, he should be allowed to play .My personal opinion is, the Primadonna Akhtar should be dropped on the basis that he is unfit (he huffs and puffs after bowling a couple of overs) and not on any other trumped up charge.

    I agree with the majority, Sports should be drug-free, BUT towards that end the ICC should spend their billions on a state of the art research facility to ensure proper drug testing of ALL cricketers are carried out periodically. Despite the advancement in medical science, drug testing procedures are still in its infancy even in the developed countries such as the USA and Europe. (case in point Marion Jones and Susanthika Jayasinghe’s conviction and subsequent exoneration).

    Today it was Akhtar and Asif but tomorrow it could be another from a country like mine which does not possess research facilities to disprove a potential false charge or any mitigating factors pertaining to use or non-use of drugs. One can draw a parallel with the throwing controversy which hurt our Murali before it was proved scientifically that even a purist like Lillee, Holding , Imran , Hadlee etc. were ‘chuckers’ based on the old law of 15 degrees .

    In summary, unless there is a world class institution performing uniform, universal, error free, MANDATORY drug tests on ALL international players, the ICC or a local body should refrain from constituting a Kangaroo court and passing ill considered judgment that affects the career and employment of a player from ANY country.

  • The Prophet on January 2, 2007, 3:43 GMT

    The strength of world cricket has traditionally been its adherence to the rules of the game and the spirit of the competition. Shoab and his mates have clearly flouted both and the comment of Mr Abbasi are just a continuation of the effort of Asian countries to undermine both.

  • Shehzad Ghani on December 30, 2006, 6:08 GMT

    What if Asif is tested again in S. Africa and tests positive again? What if these tests are not done by PCB but ICC?

  • Mubbashar Ali and Siraj Ali on December 29, 2006, 13:54 GMT

    To our colleague Euceph Ahmed and other Pak Spin bloggers

    Any person in the world has the right to challenge our arguments. However, you do not have the right to second guess our motivations and attribute certain biases to us. Let us be clear that we are all fans/sportspeople with a great deal of passion and therefore nobody has supremacy of opinion. Specifically addressing the issues raised in your recent posting, we have been consistent from the outset in arguing that there must be a solid legal basis for the resolution of this matter whether the players are innocent or guilty.

    You may wish to word-play, distort & de-contextualise the substantive points made with highly simplistic generalisations but we challenge ALL to critically examine and test the submissions made as part of the debate in arriving at their own conclusions.

    Ethics and Morality are no doubt at the core of the issue. We re-emphasise that the whole doping issue must be dealt with in a consistent fashion under a process that demonstrates the hallmarks of integrity. However, a great deal of subjective judgment is focusing on the ethic/moral values of the punishment and conveniently ignores the fact that ethics and morality demand due process and basic legal safeguards as required for an internationally enforceable code.

    On your point (and the overly creative descriptions of others) about simple readers and ‘legal smokescreens’ it perhaps serves to demonstrate that those entering into such a legal process, in which they are neither qualified nor competent, face a dizzying array of complex legal and medical issues and competing arguments to comprehend. (Lest we forget they also would need to attain a relevant basic knowledge of human biology and principles of law). Secondly, in order for a ‘simple reader’ to begin to make an informed judgment it is a necessary starting point to appreciate and understand this ‘legal smokescreen’.

    To clarify we are not attorneys at law or any other unrelated invective you wish to cast upon us. Instead collectively we have a legal/engineering background and considerable experience of dealing with Governmental regulatory bodies. We are not talking about a perceived lack of professionalism. What we are talking about is submitting yourself to the highest levels of scrutiny and being able to deliver to the highest standards. It is not a ‘utopian’ world but it is the real world where the above is a valid expectation. It was the ICC/PCB who did not deliver and should correctly have their professional reputation traduced. The line has to be drawn when international regulatory bodies fail to deliver properly upon their obligations.

    What is worthy of more thought is why sporting organisations such as FIFA and the ICC with turnovers the size of small countries are quick to protect their commercial revenue( e.g. size of bat labels, preventing ambush marketing) but do not deal with the ‘ethics’ related to the doping issue with anything like the same vigour.

    Finally we leave the very last word with Imran Khan. Appearing on NDTV, on a totally unrelated matter, he was asked how to deal with failure. He responded (paraphrasing); by honestly analysing your failures and then do the hard work to make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes. That is perhaps a lesson for every single individual involved in this case.

  • Syed......................USA on December 29, 2006, 4:38 GMT

    I have been enjoying the war of words betweeen some regular contributors of this blog ( Javed,Mubasshar,Siraj and euceph)sorry for not using ur full names,no offence and plz don't start a new debate over this matter.I just want to suggest that Javed from Canada, Siraj and Mubasshar should seriously consider providing some feedback,input, words of wisdom, delicate legal and moral matters, their implications in this important issue TO PCB, to give them a sound base to prepare for another tough battle ahead, as there is always a good chance for them to goof up again like they did with the initial tribunal , not necessarily the result but the poor conduct of the investigation and hearing, in a very hasty and unprofessional manner. Guys keep up the good work, but don't take matters personally,remember, the human nature and personality make up can drive people in different directions sometimes to a clear and logical path and unfortunately sometimes leads them to certain misconceptions and misbeliefs.

    Thankyou ALL, Syed.........USA.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 28, 2006, 22:20 GMT

    First of all I must congratulate KAMRAN ABBASSI for creating so much interest in such a dull and boring subject of drug use and abuse, and WADA's yada, yada and their stupendous clauses and code of conduct and its ineffectiveness in its implication of the rules.

    Before, proceeding further, I would like to quote a "holy passage" from the ever-wise-man, Mr. Euceph Ahmad's post:

    "As for the issue of drugs education, I believe that no flyers, seminars, and classes could’ve served a bigger purpose than Shane Warne’s ban – no less than an all-time great to have ever played the game. Anyone who has ever seriously touched a cricket bat knows that name and knows about his dope related ban. What is your definition of dope-related education anyway?"

    Mr. Euceph, right on top of this very page, next to PAK SPIN is BOB WORLDS.........click on it and see for yourself. Bob wrote so much about your icon, your hero, Shane Warne (also, the Australian press is bragging about his retirement). You tell me that how many people have responded to Bob blog? ZERO, from the date he wrote till today its zero, zilch, none whatsoever! May be a DUCK would be easier for you to understand :-)

    So, your question is answered my friend and my point is: Yes, many people know who Shane Warne is but, it is also a fact that no one pays any attention to Shane Warne's personal life. Besides, you are forgetting that most of the Pakistani players (domestic and international level) are not so educated. So, do you think they must have read about Shane Warne's doping case in that much detail? Or his current pursuits i.e., after retirement his main ambition is to get his wife back, who left him after his sex scandal? Please, Mr. Euceph get real and don't use Shane Warne as a Bench Mark of everything from his leg spin to doping and remember this is Pak spin. :-)

    Mr. Raza Zaidi, quoting my "text" and turning it back on me? :-) Thank you Sir for your generosity!

    For your information, like any other bug or a virus this one too has various shades, colours and names besides legal, textual and intellectual, it is also known as sentimental, emotional and verbal diarrhea. And, you too have got the bug or the bug got you, in either case its the same and Sir, you too have joined the crowd who are the victims of this epidemic. If you can't cure it endure it.

    Btw, who are you asking to spare you, Mubbashar Ali and Siraj Ali? I think they did a wonderful research and came up with some very good legal and logical points and explanations, if it is beyond your comprehension or if you think that the kitchen is too hot for you then you can leave the kitchen. There is no compulsion and you are not obliged to take the heat or to eat or to take a bite and then complain about the unpleasentness of diarrhea and its side effects. ;-)

    I hereby confirm that I am not going to add anything more in this thread, as there is nothing much left to add after the legal aids and experts have contributed so much. Its time to move on to a new thread in the New Year.

    All the best to ALL of you, especially to Kamran Abbassi for making this whole blog an interesting reading.

  • Kashif Malik on December 28, 2006, 21:13 GMT

    Several of you have already concluded that both the bowlers are guilty just because they tested positive. Fortunately for them and most of us this is not how it works in the real world.

    You may have read recent reports in the media of how the original tests were flawed, so much so that Asif's record was undated and it could not be established whoes urine sample was being tested. In light of this how can you be so sure both are without doubt Guilty.

    Following on from this the original tribunal's verdict was tainted and the second unreliaable. ICC have effectively washed its hands from this debacle and WADA feels it must intervene for reasons (legal or moral) still unclear.

    Given all the uncertainty surely they must be given the benefit of doubt-why should they be punished for the failures of others.

  • Anam on December 28, 2006, 2:41 GMT

    I dont think so there is much to say regarding WADAs decisions because they seem pretty much right but PCB was the one who let the players loose even after knowing the fact they took "drugs" and were freed after winning the argument of being non guilty...According to that scenerio with all the drama PCB created, they should be fined instead of players being banned. On the other hand if WADA is to ban they should punish the players maybe for a few months before the world cup not for years because they won the case of proving themselves non guilty...just a thought

  • wasim on January 18, 2007, 22:57 GMT

    frankly i believe the pcb's decision to throw out the suspension o f the concerned players is disgusting. they effectively admitted to doping when they refuse to have their b sample tested. in any other country it would seem this sort of admission would result in penalty and suspension, but not in pakistan. All you appenrently have to do is admit to it and say you didn't realise, this is a farce. pleading ignorance to rules and regulations to which your country should abide by wheather its the pcb, icc or wada doing the testing they should be held to the highest standard, they are after all playing international cricket on the world stage. look what happened to shane warne, true the testing was done in a different situation, but it he didn't realise exactly what he had taken but he admitted responsibility and took the punishment. pakistan's cricket players pleaded ignorance and blamed everyone else they could for their positive results, disgraceful. And it is a wonder pakistan comes under so much scrutiny as a cricketing nation by everyone else, we don't want to play by their rules we have our own, if things don't suit us we'll complain about it, ie the hair incident. frankly its about time the pcb stand up, grow up and actully hold themselves to a world standard like everyone else instead oof trying to bend, change, manipulate and operate by their own set of rules and standards. THEY SHOULD BE BANNED

  • Jaja on January 17, 2007, 9:42 GMT

    Quick thought, if M Asif was found with steroids in his body, so what? How could they possibly have given him an unfair advantage? His bowling is effective because of his consistent line and length, what use would steroids have been? referring to Akhtar I see a slight case, given that his bowling style is a lot about pace, but how would steroids have unfairly helped him bowl yorkers, slower balls etc.

  • Anurudda on January 6, 2007, 21:15 GMT

    Kamran, I am a Sri Lankan and have been following the debate on use of drugs in sports with great interest and find your blog entertaining, balanced, objective and free from bias, though some of the responses to your comments have been over the top and jingoistic. In this regard I wish to draw your attention to the following commentary on Sri Lanka’s champion sprinter Susanthika Jayasighe, the only Asian to win a medal in the short sprints at the Olympics and in my humble opinion, an effort that was far superior to Sri Lanka’s 1996 world cup win (rationale, world cup features a maximum of dozen teams whereas there are over 150 nations competing at the Olympics)

    “In 1995, during a meet held in Indonesia, she (Susanthika) returned a positive drug test and was facing a suspension from the International Association of Athletics Federations [IAAF]. But the Sri Lankan federation backed her claim that the test had shown a wrong result and a team of doctors pitched in to help prove to the Toyota testing labs that there had been errors in the test. She was cleared. She was tested again in 1998 for steroid use, and one urine test showed large quantities of nandrolone. She said the test was suspect because the urine sample was not properly sealed in her presence and she was not accompanied by a personal representative, a right guaranteed by law. "It was a trick. I was checked after every race, and there was no problem," she said. She said she had taken various medicines ordered by her doctors but that she knew nothing about nandrolone. In 1999, the IAAF exonerated her of all doping charges, saying Sri Lankan athletic authorities had failed to establish a conclusive case against her. The decision freed her to compete in the Olympic Games in Sydney. (AFP 10/12/98) “

    source of article http://www.doha-2006.com/gis/SPORTS/CO/IGCOParticipantInfo.aspx?Register=0005814446 )

    The reason I reproduced the above is to show that the system is flawed and irrespective of the guilt or otherwise of Akhtar and Asif, the existing system, process and procedures are inadequate. Not only Susanthika but even Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones was accused and subsequently cleared of taking drugs though her present and previous husbands, Tim Montgomery and C.J.Hunter were banned. (Incidentally will the IAAF expunge the record of Montgomery since he is a cheat?). Also world record holder of both the women’s’ 100 and 200 meters Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo Jo) died at a very young age under mysterious circumstances soon after that astounding effort . No woman has come close to beating that record in the last 22 years. That should be another world record! Further, Base ball players Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire (he had the highest number of home runs in a season) have been under a cloud of suspicion for most of their respective careers.

    My point is, its easy to level charges against a Sportsman, Celebrity, Politician or a layman but such an accusation should be backed up with proper and adequate evidence. Personally I have no sympathy for Shoaib Akhtar who is too much of a showboat for my liking. He is over rated and not a true great like Imran, Akram or Waqar. However , this is not a popularity contest and who am I to deprive Akhtar , Marion Jones or Susanthika Jaysasighe of their livelihood unless the use of performance enhancing drugs is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt .The mere presence of minute quantities of nandralone , stanazalol or any other drug should not automatically mean a death sentence nor give arm chair critics a license to character assassinate a player.The comment by Inthikab Alam on Akhtar’s nocturnal activities is laughable , the criterion for selection should be skill on the field not religiosity or lack of it .If Akhtar can hurtle a ball at 100 m.p.h. , no one should bother if he cavorts with actresses/ fashion models off the playing field . Seems like ever since Inzamam started growing a beard, the clean shaven guys are having a tough time. As mentioned earlier , if Akhtar can bowl 25 overs and 10 overs in the Test and ODI respectively, he should be allowed to play .My personal opinion is, the Primadonna Akhtar should be dropped on the basis that he is unfit (he huffs and puffs after bowling a couple of overs) and not on any other trumped up charge.

    I agree with the majority, Sports should be drug-free, BUT towards that end the ICC should spend their billions on a state of the art research facility to ensure proper drug testing of ALL cricketers are carried out periodically. Despite the advancement in medical science, drug testing procedures are still in its infancy even in the developed countries such as the USA and Europe. (case in point Marion Jones and Susanthika Jayasinghe’s conviction and subsequent exoneration).

    Today it was Akhtar and Asif but tomorrow it could be another from a country like mine which does not possess research facilities to disprove a potential false charge or any mitigating factors pertaining to use or non-use of drugs. One can draw a parallel with the throwing controversy which hurt our Murali before it was proved scientifically that even a purist like Lillee, Holding , Imran , Hadlee etc. were ‘chuckers’ based on the old law of 15 degrees .

    In summary, unless there is a world class institution performing uniform, universal, error free, MANDATORY drug tests on ALL international players, the ICC or a local body should refrain from constituting a Kangaroo court and passing ill considered judgment that affects the career and employment of a player from ANY country.

  • The Prophet on January 2, 2007, 3:43 GMT

    The strength of world cricket has traditionally been its adherence to the rules of the game and the spirit of the competition. Shoab and his mates have clearly flouted both and the comment of Mr Abbasi are just a continuation of the effort of Asian countries to undermine both.

  • Shehzad Ghani on December 30, 2006, 6:08 GMT

    What if Asif is tested again in S. Africa and tests positive again? What if these tests are not done by PCB but ICC?

  • Mubbashar Ali and Siraj Ali on December 29, 2006, 13:54 GMT

    To our colleague Euceph Ahmed and other Pak Spin bloggers

    Any person in the world has the right to challenge our arguments. However, you do not have the right to second guess our motivations and attribute certain biases to us. Let us be clear that we are all fans/sportspeople with a great deal of passion and therefore nobody has supremacy of opinion. Specifically addressing the issues raised in your recent posting, we have been consistent from the outset in arguing that there must be a solid legal basis for the resolution of this matter whether the players are innocent or guilty.

    You may wish to word-play, distort & de-contextualise the substantive points made with highly simplistic generalisations but we challenge ALL to critically examine and test the submissions made as part of the debate in arriving at their own conclusions.

    Ethics and Morality are no doubt at the core of the issue. We re-emphasise that the whole doping issue must be dealt with in a consistent fashion under a process that demonstrates the hallmarks of integrity. However, a great deal of subjective judgment is focusing on the ethic/moral values of the punishment and conveniently ignores the fact that ethics and morality demand due process and basic legal safeguards as required for an internationally enforceable code.

    On your point (and the overly creative descriptions of others) about simple readers and ‘legal smokescreens’ it perhaps serves to demonstrate that those entering into such a legal process, in which they are neither qualified nor competent, face a dizzying array of complex legal and medical issues and competing arguments to comprehend. (Lest we forget they also would need to attain a relevant basic knowledge of human biology and principles of law). Secondly, in order for a ‘simple reader’ to begin to make an informed judgment it is a necessary starting point to appreciate and understand this ‘legal smokescreen’.

    To clarify we are not attorneys at law or any other unrelated invective you wish to cast upon us. Instead collectively we have a legal/engineering background and considerable experience of dealing with Governmental regulatory bodies. We are not talking about a perceived lack of professionalism. What we are talking about is submitting yourself to the highest levels of scrutiny and being able to deliver to the highest standards. It is not a ‘utopian’ world but it is the real world where the above is a valid expectation. It was the ICC/PCB who did not deliver and should correctly have their professional reputation traduced. The line has to be drawn when international regulatory bodies fail to deliver properly upon their obligations.

    What is worthy of more thought is why sporting organisations such as FIFA and the ICC with turnovers the size of small countries are quick to protect their commercial revenue( e.g. size of bat labels, preventing ambush marketing) but do not deal with the ‘ethics’ related to the doping issue with anything like the same vigour.

    Finally we leave the very last word with Imran Khan. Appearing on NDTV, on a totally unrelated matter, he was asked how to deal with failure. He responded (paraphrasing); by honestly analysing your failures and then do the hard work to make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes. That is perhaps a lesson for every single individual involved in this case.

  • Syed......................USA on December 29, 2006, 4:38 GMT

    I have been enjoying the war of words betweeen some regular contributors of this blog ( Javed,Mubasshar,Siraj and euceph)sorry for not using ur full names,no offence and plz don't start a new debate over this matter.I just want to suggest that Javed from Canada, Siraj and Mubasshar should seriously consider providing some feedback,input, words of wisdom, delicate legal and moral matters, their implications in this important issue TO PCB, to give them a sound base to prepare for another tough battle ahead, as there is always a good chance for them to goof up again like they did with the initial tribunal , not necessarily the result but the poor conduct of the investigation and hearing, in a very hasty and unprofessional manner. Guys keep up the good work, but don't take matters personally,remember, the human nature and personality make up can drive people in different directions sometimes to a clear and logical path and unfortunately sometimes leads them to certain misconceptions and misbeliefs.

    Thankyou ALL, Syed.........USA.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 28, 2006, 22:20 GMT

    First of all I must congratulate KAMRAN ABBASSI for creating so much interest in such a dull and boring subject of drug use and abuse, and WADA's yada, yada and their stupendous clauses and code of conduct and its ineffectiveness in its implication of the rules.

    Before, proceeding further, I would like to quote a "holy passage" from the ever-wise-man, Mr. Euceph Ahmad's post:

    "As for the issue of drugs education, I believe that no flyers, seminars, and classes could’ve served a bigger purpose than Shane Warne’s ban – no less than an all-time great to have ever played the game. Anyone who has ever seriously touched a cricket bat knows that name and knows about his dope related ban. What is your definition of dope-related education anyway?"

    Mr. Euceph, right on top of this very page, next to PAK SPIN is BOB WORLDS.........click on it and see for yourself. Bob wrote so much about your icon, your hero, Shane Warne (also, the Australian press is bragging about his retirement). You tell me that how many people have responded to Bob blog? ZERO, from the date he wrote till today its zero, zilch, none whatsoever! May be a DUCK would be easier for you to understand :-)

    So, your question is answered my friend and my point is: Yes, many people know who Shane Warne is but, it is also a fact that no one pays any attention to Shane Warne's personal life. Besides, you are forgetting that most of the Pakistani players (domestic and international level) are not so educated. So, do you think they must have read about Shane Warne's doping case in that much detail? Or his current pursuits i.e., after retirement his main ambition is to get his wife back, who left him after his sex scandal? Please, Mr. Euceph get real and don't use Shane Warne as a Bench Mark of everything from his leg spin to doping and remember this is Pak spin. :-)

    Mr. Raza Zaidi, quoting my "text" and turning it back on me? :-) Thank you Sir for your generosity!

    For your information, like any other bug or a virus this one too has various shades, colours and names besides legal, textual and intellectual, it is also known as sentimental, emotional and verbal diarrhea. And, you too have got the bug or the bug got you, in either case its the same and Sir, you too have joined the crowd who are the victims of this epidemic. If you can't cure it endure it.

    Btw, who are you asking to spare you, Mubbashar Ali and Siraj Ali? I think they did a wonderful research and came up with some very good legal and logical points and explanations, if it is beyond your comprehension or if you think that the kitchen is too hot for you then you can leave the kitchen. There is no compulsion and you are not obliged to take the heat or to eat or to take a bite and then complain about the unpleasentness of diarrhea and its side effects. ;-)

    I hereby confirm that I am not going to add anything more in this thread, as there is nothing much left to add after the legal aids and experts have contributed so much. Its time to move on to a new thread in the New Year.

    All the best to ALL of you, especially to Kamran Abbassi for making this whole blog an interesting reading.

  • Kashif Malik on December 28, 2006, 21:13 GMT

    Several of you have already concluded that both the bowlers are guilty just because they tested positive. Fortunately for them and most of us this is not how it works in the real world.

    You may have read recent reports in the media of how the original tests were flawed, so much so that Asif's record was undated and it could not be established whoes urine sample was being tested. In light of this how can you be so sure both are without doubt Guilty.

    Following on from this the original tribunal's verdict was tainted and the second unreliaable. ICC have effectively washed its hands from this debacle and WADA feels it must intervene for reasons (legal or moral) still unclear.

    Given all the uncertainty surely they must be given the benefit of doubt-why should they be punished for the failures of others.

  • Anam on December 28, 2006, 2:41 GMT

    I dont think so there is much to say regarding WADAs decisions because they seem pretty much right but PCB was the one who let the players loose even after knowing the fact they took "drugs" and were freed after winning the argument of being non guilty...According to that scenerio with all the drama PCB created, they should be fined instead of players being banned. On the other hand if WADA is to ban they should punish the players maybe for a few months before the world cup not for years because they won the case of proving themselves non guilty...just a thought

  • Raza-e-Mustafa, Gujranwala, Pakistan on December 27, 2006, 4:38 GMT

    I would agree with Tauhira from Jamaica that Shoaib and Asif have been let off unfairly. Shane Warne, after testing positive for a banned steroid and getting banned for a year was considered "extremely lucky to get away with a light punishment." Lo and behold! we have two athletes who tested positive for a banned substance and are still playing competitive cricket under the aegis of PCB which itself conducted tests and then called them back from the ICC Champions Trophy. Why, in the first place was there any need to condct any such tests if the players involved were going to be let off so easily? Conducting internal tests means nothing but to show a resolve to eliminate drugs from the sports in your country, but hushing up the matter when a couple of your good athletes test positive is quite hypocritical, oh sorry! a little inconsistent. PCB should have either not conducted the tests at all or should have banned both of them for life. we have made our already bad name worse by showing inconsistency of the highest, I beg your pardon, of the lowest standard.

    Secondly, if PCB wanted to keep it its internal matter, why did it advertise it immensely. If PCB wanted to cover it up, the whole saga could have been dealt with differently.The first reaction of PCB sounded positive and the first punishment, though lopsided and unprofessional, seemed okay, but ensuing farce was of maddening proportions. If PCB made things public, it should have maintained fairness.

    If ICC claims to be the world governing body of cricket and FIFA of football, WADA has a similar claim of being the world governing body on drugs and it has all the rights in the world to intervene when it finds some country allowing her international athletes to use drugs. The whole debate whether WADA has the jurisdiction to interven or not is baseless, it MUST intervene, otherwise this gentleman's sports will be left poorer in the whole world in general and in Pakistan in particular.

  • Adnan Sheikh on December 26, 2006, 14:45 GMT

    The testing was done by PCB. However, it was done when the players were getting ready to play in an International (ICC CT) trophy.

    PCB has pulled these players off on the pretext that they tested positive for drugs. How can PCB reason for pulling off players from the CT with logic?

    PCB seems to be forgetting that it is not an internal matter as this was done in the backdrop of a major international tourney.

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on December 26, 2006, 12:06 GMT

    Gosh! So many Doping experts out here. The bottom line is that when the dust was settled, WADA and its accomplice ICC had no rights to poke there noses into internal matters of the PCB. Instead, the PCB must be appreciated for the courage and determination by which it tackled the whole doping controversy. I am sure WADA regulations were taken in confidence during the trials. I think it’s high time to for the ICC, PCB and WADA to quit crying over spilt milk and focus on the future apprehensions and the World Cup!

  • Daniyal on December 26, 2006, 8:29 GMT

    I don't know what the PCB is up to. The ICC I hear doesn't have jurisdiction since this was internal testing/out of competition testing conversely, WADA too has no jurisdiction in the matter. Highly unlikely. I would like to ask why the urine samples were sent to WADA authorized labs for testing if WADA has no say in the matter? why not send them to a local lab with the requisite facilities. I mean we do have drug rehab programs in Pakistan so there must be some lab offering the neccessary facility in Pakistan.

    Secondly one of the readers mentioned that according to Asif they refused to have the A sample retested and never objected to testing the B sample. Why should the A sample be retested? If their innocense should be questioned it is the alternate sample i.e. the B sample that is tested. This is a world wide practice and why it hasn't been done in this situation is mind blowing. As the theory goes if the A sample was tainted by ill advised procedures then the B sample should provide clarification. However to my knowledge the players never contested the outcome of the first sample therefore no question arised of testing the B sample. Every athelete accused of doping has had the B sample tested be he innocent or not why our atheletes have chosen not to do so is yet another nail in their coffin.

    The PCB's stance in the matter is ridiculous. Nashim Ashraf needs to be sacked and the PCB separated from the government. It should be a private body run by professionals. I could run the PCB better than these appointed croonies of Mushie.

    I believe the decision of the second tribunal is tainted. Before these players were let off the B sample should've been tested and its results made public. This is yet another case of the PCB arguing that their actions were influenced by a third party (as in the abandoned test match). They didn't use that argument when defending their captain little chance it would fly when refusing to pay compensation. I see much the same happening here. I have lost all respect for Mr. Fakharuddin G Ibrahim.

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 25, 2006, 22:10 GMT

    As much as I’m constrained for time, I feel compelled to respond to the post by: Mubbashar Ali and Siraj Ali at December 24, 2006 9:11 PM. I’ll just restrict myself to the following as my concluding remarks on the subject:

    For one, you have misread and misunderstood my remarks in several places, and then in other places you have tried to put a new spin on my comments by reading misplaced implications into them. Again, for want of time I will refrain from clarifications and explanations.

    The basic premise of your argument, as I read it, is that it wasn’t the players, rather it was the PCB that was at fault for failing to synchronize their rules with those of WADA. In a tunnel-visioned and a one-dimensional manner, typical of attorneys out to save their client at all possible cost, you are willing to sacrifice the reputation of a national organization (the PCB), an international organization (the ICC), and most of all this great game of cricket that we’ve all come to love. All of this to save two players from serving a deserved sentence. It is not an issue of morality versus legality as you’ve tried to twist it. It is ONLY an issue of ethics and morality – the competitive spirit under which all sports and games are played. Blinded by your legal mindset and your own bias, that competitive spirit may not be an issue for you but for me it is of paramount importance as someone having passionately played the game and now as an avid follower. I love the Pakistan team, and my heart goes out to the Pakistan team so much so that it often results in disgruntlement and bitterness. But for all my passion for the team I’m not willing to sacrifice the fundamentals of the game over the team. I’m also not willing to pervert the ethics of the game by spinning matters into a convoluted ball of legal wax.

    To create a smokescreen for the simple reader you present a utopic worldview where everyone from WADA, the ICC, and the PCB right down to the smallest of clubs have perfectly performed their duties before anyone can be held accountable for breaking the rules. That argument might sit well for the readers of this blog, but I doubt if it will hold water with the seasoned professionals at the CAS. A logical question that might arise out of this argument is where exactly would you draw the line and declare that all concerned have performed their duties to the complete satisfaction of all others so that rules might start to be implemented?

    As for the issue of drugs education, I believe that no flyers, seminars, and classes could’ve served a bigger purpose than Shane Warne’s ban – no less than an all-time great to have ever played the game. Anyone who has ever seriously touched a cricket bat knows that name and knows about his dope related ban. What is your definition of dope-related education anyway?

    To answer Omer Admani’s question, the PCB not only is a full member of the ICC which has signed up to the WADA code, it is also a national sports organization operating under the purview of Pakistan Anti-doping Association. Pakistan as a sovereign nation is also a signatory to the Copenhagen Declaration and thus bound by the WADA code at a national level. Clause 13 of the code provides for WADA to file an appeal in the Court of Arbitration.

  • Raza Zaidi on December 25, 2006, 21:58 GMT

    All the legal, textual and intellectual diarrhea that Mr. Javed Khan, Mr. Euceph Ahmad, and Mr. Mubashir Ali have displayed so far obscures the small matter of ETHICS. The laws and rulebooks have been quoted, the inconsistencies have been touted, loopholes have been identified, and conspiracy theories have been suggested...but no one seems to be interested in the most fundamental fact, that banned drugs have been used by Shoaib and Asif. Their one and only defense is that they unknowingly ingested the banned substance through the nutritional supplements they were taking. Since the only such supplement that was admittedly taken by both the players is Promax-50 (T-BOMB II and Viper were taken by Shoaib but not Asif), it should be pretty darn simple to prove their point. Test a few different lots of Promax-50 for the presence of nandrolone. If it is found to be present, it proves the players point and exonerates them. They should be then free and clear without any clouds of doubt hanging over their heads. But if nandrolone is not found in Promax-50, then it obviously means that the players have intentionally taken it. Reinstate the ban in that case.

    And please spare us all the verbosities about jurisdictions, and what WADA and ICC should or should not have done to get the rules uniformly aligned. When PCB signed that piece of paper, they automatically subscribed to the international codes, regardless whether they actually rewrite thir own rulebooks. Secondly, how can you send the samples for testing to the WADA laboratory and later deny WADA's jurisdiction? Duh!!

    The fact remains that PCB tested their players because the coaching staff had suspected that some players (hint! Shoaib and Asif) were using drugs. They surely would have been caught if they were tested by ICC during the champions trophy. So they requested the tests before the tourney, and their suspicions were verified. This "internal" matter was not so internal. It happened only to avoid any international ramifications. And now, most Pakistanis seem to be hell-bent to overlook the obvious transgression and invite international wrath.

  • omer on December 25, 2006, 21:55 GMT

    I'm sorry but both Asif and Shoaib should be banned and it was incorrect of the PCB to overturn the decision made to ban them from playing for one and two years respectively. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and should never allow anyone to escape prosecution in any court of law including the sporting arena. They effectively admitted to the use of an illegal substance when they refused to have their B sample tested. The ICC have rendered themselves a bunch of cowards when they have refused to condemn the PCB for the decision to overturn the bannings. I welcome the involve ment of WADA to step in and challenge the decision and enforce its rules to which the ICC and effectively the PCB are supposed to adhere to.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 25, 2006, 21:25 GMT

    OMER ADMANI has raised a point on "ethics" and demands a need to debate it and debate it heavily. If you talk about ethics in general, the list is long and endless, but when people talk about ethics in sports they restrict it to drugs, betting or cheating.

    My question is, why do they restrict it to drugs only? Why not extend it to smoking and consuming alcohol? There could be good drugs and bad drugs, like healthy vitamin supplements to dangerous and harmful substances like anabolic steroids etc. But, there is no such thing as a healthy cigarette, cigar or a pipe. And a bottle of whisky, brandy, vodka, cognac or a champagne is not a tonic to cure your ailments, in fact alcohol is more dangerous than the other two. One gets drunk and not only endangers himself or his health but, he is also a potential danger towards the life of others, yet no one talks about it as a real danger leave aside as a potential danger. Au Contraire, it is widely publicized on TV commercials and even in the sports arena that it is not an ominous thing. In fact after winning the Grand Prix Race, the champion splashes bottles of Champagne everywhere as a gesture of celebrating his victory.

    These things are shown on TV and the message is spread and conveyed in to the minds of the children by their icons that alcohol is indeed one of the best things in life. The reality is that the moral values are tainted with alcohol and nicotine and no one talks about it in pointing its real dangers. There is a little awareness about the dangers of tobacco consumption and their ads are not shown on TV anymore. But, the lesser evil according to the western belief is actually the BIGGEST EVIL and that is alcohol. And every single ad of beer is more weird than those of their peers (competitors) and every single ad of any vodka or cognac is more horrific than the other. There are subliminal messages in it, there is a sinister motive behind every single ad.

    There are so many deaths that take place on the roads due to alcohol. Incidentally, today is Christmas Day and holiday season has just begun. Its a time to rejoice and enjoy the festivities but, the number of fatal accidents that takes place during these days are the highest during any other time of the year, because people consume more alcohol and go crazy like their Grand Prix Race icons and with no control over them or their cars, they kill others on the roads, so there are death traps on the road. Although the police and vigilant volunteers try to protect or minimize it as much as possible by trying to educate them or offer free rides back to their home. Yet the statistics every year confirms that more people have died than the previous years. Why? Because, the society in general does not believe in it whole heartedly, they do not want to find a permanent solution. This is not ignorance, this is total hypocrisy and lust for making more money in the name of freedom and capitalism.

    And hypocrisy does not mean simply turning a blind eye or ignoring the facts by the politicians towards the evil minded multinationals who are in this business of alcohol or even in warning them like they did against the manufacturers of cigarettes, which again is not an effective way to curb it, but they have penalized them with higher taxes and a slap on their wrist by asking them to label it with a warning that "smoking could cause cancer". This has been done not to prevent people from smoking and to give them a choice to live or to die. Its your life, live it or smoke it off! Its just a blatant act of hypocrisy by the governments only to reap the benefits in the name of higher taxes.

    But, what on earth the sports controlling bodies and authorities have to do with it in the name of controlling 'an imaginary evil' (drugs) when they can take a head on collisions with the known evil (alcohol) and why don't they protest against the consumption of alcohol not only from the sports arena but from its consumption at any level? They have taken control of the sports world in the name of FIFA, FIH, ICC, WADA, etc. with a wow to keep it clean or with a wow to keep all those hundreds of millions of dollars under their bellies and gloat about their presence or their ineffectiveness and impotency?

    Apart from talking about the menace of tobacco, alcohol and drugs which are immoral and dangerous, the code of ethics entails the aspect of morality and moral values. Practicing nepotism and favoritism are as bad as the use or abuse of other immoral values. Setting up a code of conduct and when it comes to implement it, you apply it differently on different people and people of different nationalities.

    Ricky Ponting in Malaysia goes to Mark Benson, the umpire, unhappy about his decision of calling back Tendulkar to bat again and says: "you are a disgrace to umpiring." Had the umpire reported it to the match referee under protest, Ponting would have been sitting on sidelines during the Champions Trophy. But, Benson did not report it, despite the Ashes rivalry there is an old bond of brotherhood and commonality in race. And the match referee, even after seeing and hearing it on TV gave a blind eye and a deaf ear. Had there been any other player from the subcontinent? e.g.,

    Inzamam in Bangalore Test. The humble giant appeals from the second slips for a caught behind. The umpire turns it down and in frustration, because it was a very clear nick, it frustrates Inzamam and he clenches his fists and shrugs his shoulders, thats all. And he gets a two test match ban! Why? Because he is not as great as Ponnting. But, the reply was, Inzamam is a captain and if he is showing his dissent against umpiring decisions, then he is not setting a good example for his players.

    Ricky Ponting is also a captain and it was his third offense in a few months and that too, walking up to the umpire and saying: 'you are a disgrace to umpiring' is nothing, and he is setting a perfect example for his mates to do that. This is nepotism, this is farcical to practice such values by ICC and their elite panel of umpires. The list of such partialism and favouritism is very long. If you try to discuss this or debate it, the OZ Ostrich will bury its head in the sand and the Kiwis will get rotten, the Pommes would ferment and the Brits would fume and you turn towards ICC, Malcom will run away from the scene at the Speed of light to say that he was not there! So, he cannot say or do anything.

    So my dear "bhai" they simply cannot accept reality, they cannot implement the real ethical and moral values or the code of conduct or behaviour in cricket and practice it honestly and judiciously. So my friend Admani when you call a spade a spade, they hate you for being so realistic and they call you a cheat if you swing the old ball, but when they do, they call it an 'art......where their "F" is 'silent and deadly'.

  • Omer Admani on December 25, 2006, 11:39 GMT

    Reading the arguments above, I am inclined to believe that there are enough loopholes for the players to come free of doping bans. Unless Euceph Mohammad can further substantiate his position. I feel the crux of the matter is two questions: 1) Under what set of rules does the CAS conduct itself (does WADA has authority to refer the case to them?). 2)If so, is the PCB liable to comply with WADA's code of conduct if the testing was done by the PCB itself? IF both are true, then the bans will have to be eventually reinstated. If every event in this instance is equally likely, then the chance of the bans bieng reinstated is .25. Which means on the balance of probabilities, Shoaib and Asif would be bowling again. I think this problems will clear itself in time. The major problem is the question of ethics, which ought to be heavily debated. Laws come from humans, and it is important that though we respect legal documents, we don't get carried away with them by ignoring what "ought" to be right.

  • Ashaq on December 25, 2006, 0:20 GMT

    MR Euceph Ahmed and MR Javed A Khan Thank you both I am totally enjoying this little tit for tat battle you guys have going on.I think you guys have superceded your selves. BY the way who is the man from Gotham.

  • jadogar-spin on December 24, 2006, 23:57 GMT

    Both Asif and Shoaib tested positive for the steroids, declined the B sample test, were found guilty by the first panel and the expert on the second panel.

    Can you imagine what a laughing stock the Pakistani team with these two players will be on the world scene - even if they are allowed to play?

    PCB has cleared them - let them play local cricket for a while. This should bring them back to earth and provide a good example for future aspirants.

    Pakistan has proved they can win without these two. Let the games continue...

  • Mubbashar Ali and Siraj Ali on December 24, 2006, 21:11 GMT

    This is a response to the arguments posted by Euceph Ahmed at December 24 2006 2:51am.

    To reiterate irrespective of whether the players are innocent or guilty THERE MUST BE A SOLID LEGAL BASIS TO RESOLVE THIS MATTER.

    A point by point rebuttal:

    1. The PCB is a full member of the ICC and has signed up to the WADA code for in-competition drug testing at ICC events only. In light of the mechanism adopted by the ICC each member country is required to synchronise its anti-doping code to mirror that of the ICC and WADA for out of competition testing. The Pakistan Cricket Board has failed to do this to date. Whether Euceph Ahmed accepts this or not it remains a fact that as of today the PCB has still not amended its rule book in this regard. As we argued previously this is a massive failure on the part of the PCB. However, in legal terms the PCB's failure to act does not mean that its own non-reformed rule book is automatically declared invalid.

    Euceph Ahmed then cites the argument about the supposed absurdity of the Kenyan Cricketing authorities not using power players in one day international cricket. In our view this example highlights Euceph Ahmed's failure to understand the nature of the ICC. The ICC has specified the rules on power plays for international matches only. In each member country the ICC has no legal powers or jurisdiction to tell the Kenyan authorities what rules to apply to domestic one day matches. So for example in English domestic one day cricket, matches are played over 20,40 and 50 overs under ECB regulations which are different to the rules applied in one day internationals.

    It must be understood that that the ICC is not a classical "command" sports governing body as a result of its unique historical origins. It is actually more of a facilitating organisation where in certain areas the members agree to sacrifice some of their autonomy in order to run the international game. This is why the member countries of the ICC have decided that for out of competition testing each member will provide national rules on anti-doping. The PCB should have amended its rule book to be WADA compliant but failed to do this. Whether anyone likes this or not, it remains an uncomfortable legal fact for all the parties involved in this matter.

    So far as concerns Darrel Hair he did apply the rules on ball-tampering( an acknowledged grey area) but failed to get his verdict upheld because there was insufficient evidence to back up his judgement. Additionally, many observers felt that he had not acted impartially and so in applying the law did not do so in accordance with principles of natural justice. The proof of this is that Hair's verdict was struck down by the ICC's own appeals body!

    Euceph Ahmed's final point again betrays a lack of understanding of both the WADA and PCB rules. Under both set of rules the players are allowed to argue in their defence that they unknowingly took a prohibited substance. The key point Euceph Ahmed must understand is that the threshold for these defences is very different. The WADA code sets a MUCH higher bar than the PCB code. If Euceph believes that this shows the prejudiced mentality of the appeals panel then he is essentially arguing that they should have applied the WADA rules in the full knowledge that they do not apply to out of competition testing as argued above!

    Prejudice and presumption have no place in discharging any law or rule. As we argued previously rules are rules and the arguments being put forward by our colleague on this blog suggest that he would like to apply an a la carte approach and pick those rules that will produce a morally acceptable/face saving outcome for him. The ICC's own failure to act as a party in the appeal lodged by WADA should tell you that Malcolm Speed has to work within the laws available no matter how unsatisfactory they are.

    2. In International Law a country signing up to a treat etc usually implements a domestic law enshrining that commitment.This is because each nation is sovereign and therefore adopts a domestic law to make the international rule part of its own body of laws. The problem in this case has simply arisen because the PCB failed to change its own rule book in the summer of 2006 when it signed up for the ICC doping code. A simple example would be a treaty requirement that all countries adopt a maximum speed limit of 70 mph. Each nation would then make a law and enact it. If Country X fails to make such a law it's current law will remain valid until it amends its laws. The treaty requirement will not automatically become part of Country X's laws when Country X signs up.

    The failure to synchronise the rules on out-of competition testing is the fault of the PCB and to a lesser extentof the ICC and WADA. Euceph Ahmed should perhaps focus his critical thinking on these institutions rather than trying to avoid facing the current unpalatable legal facts!

    3. The point we were arguing is that in a hypothetical scenario where the case came under the WADA code, a competent lawyer would be able to convincingly argue that under the defences available in the WADA code the players were not liable on the basis of the lack of drugs education provided by the PCB. Indeed, the first panel when incorrectly applying the WADA rules reduced Mohammad Asif's ban to one year on this basis. Euceph Ahmed should realise that this result was achieved when the players had no legal representation ( and no knowledge of how to compile a defence) so it is reasonable to assume that a Sports Lawyer would have been able to make a much stronger case than a cricketer without a lawyer!

    4.WADA is acting outside its powers as the ICC code does not govern out of competition testing. WADA's toothlessness is coming because it failed to make sure that the member countries of the ICC aligned their domestic rules with the ICC code in summer 2006. As the main anti doping organisation in the world it is not strange that WADA had not have forseen such a scenario arising? Did it not understanding the constitutional workings of the ICC?

    So far as referring the matter to CAS precisely which rules in its code is WADA relying upon? The ICC code makes provision for referrals to CAS for appeals stemming from doping offences commited at an ICC event. As these tests were conducted outside an ICC event and its support period it will be interesting to see whether CAS itself is willing to take hear the matter as they themselves have to determine whether they have jursidiction.

    Also, CAS is a court which hears disputes where both parties agree that it is the approriate forum to hear a case i.e. it has no overarching jurisdiction. As the PCB code makes no such provision for a referral to CAS, on what legal basis can the PCB accept CAS jurisdiction? No doubt Euceph Ahmed will dislike hearing this point but he should remember that two players livelihoods( and human rights) are at stake and any ban must have a solid legal basis.

    So far as concerns other countries boycotting Pakistan this will not happen as there is no legal basis for it. Euceph Ahmed may not be aware that each bilateral series is governed by a commercial contract. In order to be boycotted, Pakistan would have to play an ineligible player under ICC rules. As the ICC has no legal powers to declare Shoaib and Asif as ineligible no country will boycott Pakistan.

    Finally, the contention that the likes of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be in a morally superior position to the PCB in this matter is laughable at best and dangerous at worst. They are yet to even test their players out of competition so we suspect that they will not be so quick to rush to judgement.

    5. Dick Pound should have been hitting the airwaves in the Spring and Summer of 2006 demanding that the ICC make sure that each member country align its domestic anti-doping rules with those of the ICC. He is no doubt upset at the current situation but isn't prevention the best way to avoid future problems? WADA understand international and domestic law. They should have known how to ensure that from the summer of 2006 their code was applied for both in and out of competition testing in cricket. This is an incontravertible point and cannot hide how the failure to create a comprehensive legal regime by WADA and the ICC has led to this mess.

    Also, it was Malcolm Speed's job to manage and co-odinate the implementation of the ICC code both at the international level and in each ICC member. ICC's failure is perhaps why they received a thinly veiled rebuke from Dick Pound last week.

    6. Euceph Ahmed's dismissal of the importance of drugs education is contemptable. In English domestic cricket the PCA meet players every year in small groups and provide drugs education. If any player then tests positive he cannot cite ignorance. In other words there is a level playing field : comprehensive drugs education=strict WADA based punishments for any positive drugs test.

    Euceph Ahmed implies that in Pakistan the players should be provided with no drugs education ( including no point of contact in the Board who himself knows that he is the lead manager in this field and can provide auditable evidence) BUT should face the full force of WADA punishments despite this. This is manifestly unfair and unreasonable. The PCB conducted these tests on an ad-hoc basis and is now reaping the rewards of this controversy. Euceph Ahmed has consitently favoured such ad-hocism in relation to the laws governing this matter and in our view he would be advised to observe the difficulties this creates.. Perhaps he will agree with us that the time has come to ensure that the PCB, ICC and WADA produce and correctly enact rules to eliminate drugs in sport in the future.

    In simple terms the great and the good of the ICC, WADA and the PCB failed to discharge their duties in delivering an enforceable and legally binding WADA compliant code for both in and out of competition drugs testing. Shoaib and Asif are two people, how many people are abdicating their responsibility for the mess caused by the collective failure of these organisations?

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 24, 2006, 13:28 GMT

    The wise man of Gotham, Mr. EUCEPH Ahmad, the avatar or English Fables, has once again spoken the words of wisdom.

    Dear Mr. EU. when I quote something, I refer it as "a quote", and it is obvious that I have quoted WADA's rules to explain by copy / pasting their holy words in my post. And I have not claimed them to be 'my scholarly endeavor' and I have also explained them with my own synopsis to prove my point of view. If you do not understand it, then it is like; 'a purblind nocturnal mouse who sees not the sunlight and blames the later'.

    As always you, are ranting, rambling, running hither and thither, still reaching no where, whacking your sheep in vain, only to leap over the bridge like that wise man of Gotham, looking around to get an applaud or a pat on your shoulder. By doing this you are only confirming that you are, A His Master's Voice champion cricketer, who ducks under a googly, tries to sweep a bouncer, gets run out without even facing a single ball, and merrily celebrates it as a hat-rick to his credit!

    Sorry E-Suff Bhai, you are a little too late in punching me with your left hook through your eldritch, uncanny, supernatural and thought provoking theories and verbosities in the form of textual diarrhoea, that too in your typical unpleasant and stupendous way, because I have already explained some of those points in my post: "December 23, 2006 10:04 PM."

    You say: "WADA left the matter for the PCB to handle it for itself. It is only when the PCB made a total mockery of the issue that WADA was forced to act. It would, otherwise, have been made to be seen as a toothless organization."

    1. Yes, the PCB made a mockery earlier when they conducted the tests voluntarily and also in banning the players in haste. They shouldn't have carried out those tests, they did only to prove that they are teacher's pet. 2. When they banned their players in a martial-law style tribunal, there was a big hue and cry from all corners of the country, then they looked around and found themselves in shallow waters, and then their lawyers pointed out the loop holes in the guidelines refer WADA's Level 3 guideline, which is not mandatory {read my post Dec. 23, 2006 10:04 P.M. above) and then they used their own power and the judgment within the frame work and acquitted the players. 3. After that WADA is simply fuming over its own man made silly rules and its powerlessness, toothlessness, ineffectiveness. 4. Apparently, at ICC's instigation they are appealing it and trying to go to the arbitrator. This is only a ploy to delay the process so that the players are kept away from playing the world cup 2007. 4. It is indeed a toothless organization and it will look even more ineffective and impotent if they pursue this case further and loose it. As they have no case to fight. 5. They cannot have different set of rules for British, German and Jamaican Athletes and a different one for Pakistanis. 6. They are definitely a bunch of hypocritical bureaucrats using billions of dollars of money from different governments in the name of fighting "a battle against an imaginary evil." 7. Only dimwits would be supporting WADA's dual policies or even their existence and believe in them as the ultimate Gods of sports.

    Therefore, please spare us with your sedentary boy like comments who is trying to prove his pseudo intellectualism by saying "Les Contes de Fées" is actually the English version of Cinderella.

  • zulfiqar ali on December 24, 2006, 6:28 GMT

    WADA is doing something which is their duty . it is debatable i mean are they or not legalley authorise to do so . but in first place what pcb did . coducting dope teat is not sufficent . you need to have processes and procedure in place before undertaking any such execrise. had there been the anti doping committee to decide the fate of those found guilty before test were conducted and the appeal tribunal or whatever would be in place at that point of time , iam sure there would be less contraversy. the incomplete/ insufficent process of testing the player acually lead to the situation we are in now. it is but commen sense that whenever you formulate a policy you always back that up with procedure to tackle the out come of the action taken on the basis of the policy. it is a job not well done and causing embaressment to the board players and the country as well.As a professional body pcb need to start doing things on first time right basis else we continue to suffer.

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 24, 2006, 2:51 GMT

    This is a rejoinder to the arguments posted by Mubbashar Ali and Siraj Ali at December 23, 2006 2:44 AM:

    1- At the time the tests were conducted, and until the last time I checked, PCB was a member of the ICC which happens to be one of the numerous sports bodies that have accepted WADA’s anti-doping code. For the sake of uniformity, consistency, and parity, ICC member countries have agreed to a particular set of rules through which international and first-class cricket is governed. The recent introduction of power plays in ODIs, for instance, is governed by the same set of rules in Kenya as it is in Australia. It will be deemed absurd if Kenya took the plea that because it is comparatively a new entrant in the cricketing world, it will not use power plays until the Kenyan cricket board has synchronized its rule books with those of the ICC, and until all Kenyan players have been properly educated about the rules. Principles of parity demand that laws cannot be applied selectively, and that they must be applied equally to all.

    On the other hand, we have the example of Darrell Hair who took action upon a “solid legal basis” when he applied the ball-tampering rule copybook style, yet finds himself biting the dust somewhere.

    It’s also interesting to note that the players pleaded ignorance as their defense, but the tribunal used the “wrong set of rules” argument to provide them relief. This only goes to show the prejudiced mindset of the tribunal.

    2- If WADA succeeds in its appeal the implication will be that all those signing up to in-competition testing must make a clear attempt to adhere to the WADA code. You cannot disown international law to which you are a signatory, and argue that domestic law selectively supersedes it whenever your own star players are involved. Not a single soul from the whole South Asia region raised a single objection in Shane Warne’s case.

    3- When it comes to the issue of player education you conveniently switch gears to apply the WADA code instead of the PCB rules. Do the PCB rules address this issue? If no, then how would that mean that PCB’s current policy can be wiped off the record?

    4- Let me make my argument clear: I do not believe, first of all that WADA is acting beyond its powers. WADA left the matter for the PCB to handle it for itself. It is only when the PCB made a total mockery of the issue that WADA was forced to act. It would, otherwise, have been made to be seen as a toothless organization. In other words, they weren’t left with any other option but to act. I fail to see any moral satisfaction whatsoever on WADA's part. Even now WADA is only asking for arbitration and not imposing any of its own rulings on the PCB. If the PCB refuses to accept the Court of Arbitration of Sports’ jurisdiction in this matter, other countries can also reserve their right to selectively refuse or accept the court’s jurisdiction. Other teams can also flatly refuse to play against Pakistan when Pakistan attempts to field these players against them in which case there would hardly be any recourse available to the PCB. Pakistan also participates in other games and events where other countries can boycott Pakistani teams. When the money would stop everyone would talk and eventually Pakistan will be forced down on its knees. A much more unfavorable outcome than the Pakistani public would like.

    5- I fail to see anything disappointing about Dick Pound appearing in the media and criticizing the ICC and PCB. What else is he supposed to do, sit quietly and wait for events to unfold? He is just doing his job. Using your own argument conversely, why did every country not wait to synchronize their own dope testing programs before signing onto the WADA code?

    6- Being a signatory to the WADA code it was incumbent upon the PCB to carry out the tests that it did in its own interest, as its own duty and obligation, and to save its players from international penalties. WADA did not force the PCB to conduct the tests. It would’ve caused much greater embarrassment and a much greater setback to the PCB had the two athletes been caught during the World Cup by WADA authorities. Your “drugs education” and “fit for purpose” arguments would’ve really sounded nice if they were made before this particular incident or under some neutral circumstances.

    And finally a note for JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA at December 22, 2006 10:32 PM. Mr. Khan you can write the whole Arabian Nights or some other fairy tale over and over again but it takes no rocket science to figure out that these two guys tested positive for banned steroids. That remains a fact at the end of the day, and there’s no way you can circumvent that fact by endlessly chattering about non-relevant issues. Please spare us the trouble of your cut and paste scholarly endeavors and stick to the real issues.

  • Tauhira from Jamaica on December 23, 2006, 23:36 GMT

    I think WADA has the right to make an appeal to the Court of Arbitration. Asif and Akhtar were let off just like that. The players said that they didn't know that the drugs were in their system or how it got there. "Ignorance" simply cannot be used as a defence. The fact is that the drugs was there and somehow, they should be punished, even if they had to do community service, some form of punishment should have been given.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 23, 2006, 22:04 GMT

    Hey JOHN; you may keep your 'beamish' and skeamish bouncers for your Dick Pound and Malcom Speed, 'coz they are more ignorant than the PCB. As a governing or controlling body, WADA have not fulfilled their obligation in getting the rules, regulations implemented and or in providing sufficient guidelines and proper checks of the code of conduct according to their own Gospel. There are plenty of loop holes in it and I am going to briefly explain them to you below, care to read it to get over with your own ignorance.

    If WADA supersedes ICC's regulation by appealing against PCB's decision, which they believe they have the right to do, then they should once again look in to their Gospel before playing leapfrog as they can also be screwed in doing that. I think it is a grand scheme of these two organizations apparently backed by Australia. They are trying to keep these two fast bowlers away from the world cup, who are the only threat to Australia's dream to win the world cup. Then, Pakistan must not let them go off the hook and hire a team of good lawyers who can tear them apart into bits and pieces.

    If for any reason, Shoaib and Asif are barred from playing in the World Cup and later cleared after a complete hearing, then a simple apology from WADA or ICC should not be accepted by PCB or its officials by saying: " As a Muslim nation, and in the greater interest of the game, and for the goodwill of the people, we will forgive you and forget it and will move forward."

    NO. There should not be any more "Bhai char gee" here! The PCB should not act like, PirZamamul Haq when he said, "I forgive and it is in my religion to forgive and forget and I accepted a ban of 4 matches." That was a BIG mistake, PCB should have appealed against his ban. The main issue was ball tampering and he was cleared of it, so what ill-repute they were talking about? This time, if it happens, then the PCB MUST sue them and claim damages into millions of dollars not only for the hassle but, also for defamation of their players and the country as a whole.

    I have a very strong belief that Pakistan can come out clean in the same manner as they did against "His Hairness's" conspiracy which was again backed by ICC and Australia.

    I would like to make a brief synopsis for "John, Dick and Hairy."

    According to WADA's own anti doping guidelines they have three levels in their anti doping programme:

    Level 1: The World Anti-Doping Code Level 2: International Standards Level 3: Models of Best Practice and Guidelines

    The first two levels are mandatory. Even though they are mandatory, the testing procedure which is a part of the level 2 requirement, the testing of Nandrolone in the labs has been challenged by many international scientists and experts, as "false and incorrect", which I have already explained above in part 2. Based on that, many International Athletes have been acquitted in the past.

    Here is an abstract of Level 3: Models of Best Practice for you.

    WADA offers "Models of Best Practice" to its stakeholders to facilitate their implementation of the Code into their own (PCB, BCCI etc.) rules and regulations. The Model Rules and Guidelines, making up the Models of Best Practice, are recommended as solutions in different areas of anti-doping. (The PCB's naiveties and idiosyncrasies are similar to that of a 'teacher's pet', that they went out voluntarily to show to ICC and WADA that they are very fair and square in implementing their rules, that was a dumb act and they are paying a price for that, no other national anti-doping organization did that.)

    A: Model Rules:

    Two Model Rules have been developed, one for International Federations (IFs) and another for National Anti-Doping Organizations or PCB in this case. The Model Rules allow for great flexibility in their use by these organizations.

    For example, clauses that are mandatory under the World Anti-Doping Code and that should be "incorporated without any substantive changes" are highlighted in the text. And, it is at the discretion of each individual National Anti Doping Organization or PCB in this case, to implement it "ONLY" if they wishes to incorporate the non-mandatory articles into its current rules and regulations.

    These non-mandatory articles can be incorporated in whole, or in part, and can be amended or reworded to best fit the organization's needs and the requirements. Further, when appropriate, alternative approaches are offered.

    B: Guidelines:

    WADA also publishes guidelines relating to doping control activities. These are developed based on the Code and with the input of stakeholders. While not mandatory, they are intended only to facilitate stakeholders' activities in areas including results management, out-of-competition testing, athlete whereabouts, and urine and blood sample collection.

    SO, the interesting thing is WADA, despite having immense resources, does not go about implementing their rules and regulation and check with the National Anti Doping Organizations like PCB, BCCI etc., by sending their team of inspectors or auditors etc. They simply provide guidelines which are available on their web site and that too, "the codes are subject to constant ongoing review and reassessment".

    Therefore, there is nothing concrete about the ever changing. dynamic Gospel of WADA.

    So, according to their own rules and regulations, and with all the ineffective procedure in implementing them the world over, they cannot implement their laws like a Bible, even that is also is not a final word as it has been revised, edited and changed. Therefore, John you better try to Baptize your own Dick and Speed rather than attacking others with your ignorance. As the expression goes, 'ignorance is a bliss' in some cases, like yours its a BLISTER :-)

  • John Beamish on December 23, 2006, 18:22 GMT

    Facts:

    1. Ahktar & Asif took performance enhancing drugs 2. Ignorance is no defence

    PCB acted properly but then found itself furiously back-peddling. Now it's such a mess that a team (of highly paid ) lawyers may not be able to sort it out. What if an international organization imposes a ban that Pakistan refuses to accept? Will the players be able to play in an ICC sanctioned match?

  • Momin on December 23, 2006, 10:16 GMT

    I wish if for once, a decision from this land was respected. Mr. Dick Pound, who seems to keep it real to his first name, has been on record as having said that CRICKET AUSTRALIA banned Shane Warne rather lightly. If he felt so, why did WADA not appeal then? It seems as if Pakistan is always going to be singled out for whatever we do. Shane Warne was reprimanded, and no one remembers that he took money from bookmakers, but everyone remembers that a few Pakistanis were fined for not cooperating with an inquiry. What a farce? I m not discrediting the genius of Shane Warne, but history will stand up in testimony that Pakistan is being singled out, once more. I sincerely hope that this would not mentally weaken the bowlers in the midst of this facade ... and Pakistan, after all this hoopla, can field a full strength squad at the WC 2007.

  • David Furrows on December 23, 2006, 7:02 GMT

    It has been excruciatingly painful watching this trainwreck unfold in slow motion.

    The massive levels of nandrolone in Asif and Shoaib were unquestionably arrived at by massive and regular injections of anabolic steroids, even though they, and the Chairman of the PCB have attempted to spin a fairy tale that contaminated supplements did it. (And incidentally, Pakistan is a WADA signatory, and WADA rules say if it's in your body it's your fault no matter what alibi you put forward as to how it got there).

    The initial verdict was actually good for both the PCB and the players: the penalties were severe enough to be accepted internationally, and Asif - who is a far better long-term prospect than the elderly and unruly Shoaib - got only a 1 year sentence.

    But the act of choosing individuals like Hasib Ahsan and Justice Fakhruddin Ebrahim (who had somehow once exonerated even Salim Malik) was a blatant attempt by the PCB to pervert the course of justice by producing a whitewash.

    The appeal panel delivered the whitewash it had been commisioned to produce, and it later emerged that the PCB CEO had also attempted to influence the original panel with the ludicrous supplements "defence".

    If the guilty verdicts had remained but with shortened sentences then the players and the PCB could have continued as usual within about a year. But we now see Pakistan totally discredited because of the blatant whitewash, and, worse, the Commission of Arbitration in Sport will not merely reinstate the orginal guilty verdicts (because unintentional consumption of steroids is not an allowed defence) but will reinstate Shoaib's 2 year ban and also double Asif's original 1 year ban. It was always going to happen once Ebrahim and Ahsan got carried away and produced such an absurd appeal verdict that the only qualified person on the three man panel actually dissented.

    Everyone seems to be looking at the World Cup. In fact, in February 2008 Pakistan will host Australia for a three Test series. Australia will no longer have Langer, Martyn, Gilchrist, Warne and McGrath whereas Asif would have been back from his drug ban. Pakistan had their best ever chance of being crowned world Test champions against a raw and inexperienced Australian outfit. Now, however, Asif will be part-way through a ban and that series is all but thrown away by the poor judgment of the PCB.

    Why did the PCB have to pervert the course of justice so blatantly, and how on earth did they think they would get away with it?

  • Nabeel Adeel on December 23, 2006, 5:11 GMT

    Hi Kamran WADA's decision to take the matter to the court of arbitration for sports has certainly livened up the doping issue again and it might mean problems for Pakistan's top pacemen are not over yet.I think the ICC accepts this doping issue to be an internal matter of the PCB and that is why ICC was advised by its lawyers not to appeal against the verdict.What jurisdiction does this court have?i really dont know but if it passes a negative verdict on the bowlers that would spell trouble for Pakistan in the world cup.But can it do that is the question that needs to be answered.I hope this issue gets over soon and our team can field its two main bowlers in the world cup thanks nabeel

  • Mubbashar Ali and Siraj Ali on December 23, 2006, 2:44 GMT

    Reading the comments to Kamran's article a number of issues need to be addressed:

    1. Whether you believe the players are guilty or innocent it is essential that whatever action is taken occurs upon a solid legal basis. At the time the tests were conducted it seems clear that they were governed by the PCB's anti-doping policy. Principles of natural justice demand that you apply these rules to the matter rather than trying to apply an alternative set of rules (the WADA/ICC code) simply because the PCB failed to synchronise its rule book with that of the ICC when the WADA code was adopted in the summer.

    2. If WADA succeeds in its appeal the implication will be that a country signing up to in- competition testing under the WADA code automatically revokes its domestic anti-doping code despite the fact that the WADA code makes no explicit mention of this.The WADA regime actually requires domestic anti-doping policies to be made congruent with its code. This implicitly means that WADA itself recognises that the competent authority in any country to produce a domestic anti-doping code is the National sporting body and not WADA! In the Shoaib/Asif case the PCB should have amended its anti-doping code to make it WADA compliant. The fact that the PCB did not do this is obviously a major indictment of the organisation. However, the PCB's cock-up does not mean that its current anti-doping policy can be wiped from the record.

    3. Both judgements in this case have drawn attention to the complete lack of drugs education provided by the PCB to the players.Applying the WADA code, it is at least arguable that a competent lawyer could make a strong case that the players deserve no punishment as they were never warned about the dangers of taking legal supplements.

    4. Euceph Ahmed argues that Pakistan cannot play cricket on its own and that other countries would accept WADA's intervention. A visit to to the WADA website suggests that the organisation itself has created a detailed set of rules on which to take action in doping matters. Does Euceph Ahmed believe that WADA would have done this if it thought countries would welcome its intervention on an ad-hoc basis? In simple terms rules are rules and WADA or any other body cannot act beyond its powers no matter how morally satisfying that may be.

    5.It is very disappointing that Mr.Pound has appeared in the media criticising the ICC and PCB. Where was Mr Pound in the summer when his organisation facilitated the ICC signing up to the WADA code? Why did WADA not insist that every country synchronise its out of competition testing rules as a condition of coming under the ICC/ WADA regime. For an organisation whose sole aim is to eliminate doping from sport it is alarming that they did not spot this obvious loop hole and act to prevent it.

    6. How has WADA alllowed a situation to arise whereby some countries within the ICC are conducting out of competition tests and others aren't? How has it allowed a situation to arise where a number of major cricketing countries DO NOT provide any meaningful drugs education to their players? WADA should realise that eliminating drugs from sport will not be achieved by simply using the big stick. It also has to ensure that drugs education and legal procedures are fit for purpose. To date Mr Pound has been remarkably silent about some of WADA's failings in this regard.

  • Mawali on December 23, 2006, 1:51 GMT

    Abbasi Sahib, this entire exercise of a bog on pak cricket is turning into quite an enlightening experience in more ways than one. The facts presented in Javed Khan's mini thesis on the working of Wada should suffice in warding of any threat of the same's recent challenge to the verdict against Asif and Shaoib. It may be also help to know that PCB has claimed that its doping guideline are not necessarily in line with those of the ICC. Wada as the anti doping agency works directly with the ICC rather than the member organizations. Also, there is precedence in ND cases where individuals with higher levels have been acquitted not to mention the fact that in this case there is the allegation of tainted collection method. I am not going to argue the wrong and right in this case because in my opinion that argument has been nullified by the PCB's ineptness in dealing with the this entire issue before, during and after the allegation against Asif and Shoaib. Adios!

  • AL JIHAD- THE STATS CRICINFO HIDES on December 22, 2006, 23:21 GMT

    WADA have no case against Shoaib and Asif on two accounts-

    1) This was an internal matter and the tests were done by the PCB not the ICC so it is up to the PCB not the ICC to determine reasonable punishment for Asif and Shoaib. This is why the ICC have not intervened, they have said they will back WADA at the CAS but will not deal their own punishment.

    2) WADA claim the main probleM for them is that neither player took a B sample which suggests they accepted the findings of the A sample. The English lawyer (I think his name was Gay) who represented the two bowlers made it clear that Shoaib and Asif accepted the fact they may have taken an illegal substance in their bodies but they unknowingly took it through a substance known as pro-max 50 (to speed up their recovery process from injury) and pro-max 50 is not on WADA's list of illegal substances.

    One final point to note is that Asif stopped taking the pro-max 50 when the Pak physio found out that he was taking it, this was proven in the 1st hearing. I AM SO CONFIDENT THAT NEITHER PLAYER WILL GET BANNED (if they do get banned it will be for no longer than a couple of months) THAT IF THEY DO I WILL LEAVE THIS SITE AND NEVER POST ON HERE AGAIN, JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL AND BOTH WILL BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE THEIR CAREER'S AND BE EXONERATED.

    UNLIKE DR. ALBAN I AM A MAN OF MY WORD.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 22, 2006, 22:37 GMT

    Part Two: Nandrolone and Testing procedures.

    Experts at the research units for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, all over the world are working hard to determine the reasons for the endogenous increase of NA in our system.

    Also, in their opinion, they are concerned about the way the "false and inaccurate" tests that are being conducted by the sport bodies / authorities and labs all over the world and how they are affecting the lives of the athletes and sport lovers.

    A few weeks ago, when Shoaib and Asif were banned, I had quoted an abstract from a research report of scientists from Aberdeen University, Scotland. And this time I would like to quote a few abstracts from the reports of experts from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

    First, about Nandrolone or NA's presence in our bodies and how it can increase:

    1. Endogenously – through diet and exercise and a combination of both. 2. Exogenously – through pills (such as anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs.

    Our bodies produce NA endogenously as an intermediate in the aromatization of androgen to oestrogen through the intake of high protein diet such as red meat, beef, eggs and fish which has high contents of zinc. An increase in serum testosterone in men who are marginally zinc deficient has been shown after zinc supplementation. Also, diets deficient in zinc resulted in a significant decrease in serum testosterone concentration.

    Therefore, it can be concluded that zinc supports testosterone production. Although there is a linear relationship between serum zinc and serum testosterone concentrations, it is not known whether it is due to supra-physiological doses of zinc which are associated with higher levels of testosterone production or it is due to the fact that certain athletes are marginally zinc deficient because of inadequate intake and considerable sweat loss.

    The report suggests that it is due to BOTH i.e., high intake of protein diet and heavy exercise resulting in dehydration. And their findings are based from the testing of professional soccer players over 19 months and collected 385 urine samples. Urine NA concentrations after soccer games were significantly higher than before games. Intense exercise has been associated with raised levels of NA in the urine.

    Therefore, they say that: "It is conceivable that the increase in circulating androgens in people participating in short duration, high intensity exercise could result in the stimulation of the aromatase enzyme complex, resulting in an absolute increase in the amount of NA in the urine."

    Therefore, there is sufficient data to suggest that a urine specimen collected after high intensity exercise could have a higher concentration of NA for reasons other than dehydration.

    The second point was about the testing procedures in the laboratory testing methods which are lacking in accuracy and how complicated and messy individual cases can be made to appear by those tests, and how our judgments about them are coloured by a range of moral possibilities and intersecting contextual features. They say that banning an athlete on the basis of false and inaccurate tests and on the basis of man made rules is nothing more than: "Aa quest for an imaginary evil." This is so much like the political imaginary evil. Like, Osama is still guiding the terrorists, in reality the guy may or may not be alive or Saddam is still hiding the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!

    The exogenous intake of such anabolic steroids, if they are harmful to human consumption why is it restricted to athletes only? What about the rest of the population? Therefore, WADA must adhere not only in implementing the man made rules to ruin the lives of a few athletes, but should also go further and demand from those governments whose pharmaceutical companies are manufacturing such harmful anabolic steroids and minting billions of dollars

    In conclusion the report could be summed up as: Nandrolone or NA, is produced endogenously in our bodies as an intermediate in the aromatisation of androgen to oestrogen. Intense exercise may increase its concentration in the urine. Future laboratory testing methods need to distinguish endogenous from exogenous nandrolone metabolites accurately, as this has important implications for doping control in sports. And WADA should stop blabing yada yada yada and be realistic in their approach.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 22, 2006, 22:32 GMT

    Part One – WADA and yada yada.

    A few weeks ago I posed this question to Kamran Abbassi in a different thread about WADA's concern on Shoaib & Asif's acquittal and inquired whether WADA is going to come up with an appeal? The thread was not the right one, so my post did not get a spot in it.

    Now, the cat is out of the bag and, like Kamran says: Wada is yada yada-ing over this issue by appealing against the acquittal decision.

    In Sanskrit the word, "yada-yada means "whenever - wherever". I would like add another "yada" to it and create an additional meaning, "whatever". So, WADA wants to blab, whatever, whenever and wherever!

    In September 2005, WADA had a big meeting here in MONTREAL, which was a follow up of their earlier meeting here in May 2005. The Chairman of WADA, Mr. Richard Pound and his team of hotshots indulged themselves in the luxuries of exploiting the funds they receive from various governments in the name of keeping the sports bodies clean and free from drugs, did nothing different from what any bureaucratic government department or agency would do.

    The meeting was concluded with a 46 pages report mainly about the internal procedural matters and implication of the rules and regulations to control the use and abuse of drugs in sports through various national and international sport bodies etc. But, there was NO mention or even a hint towards those gigantic pharmaceutical industries to stop manufacturing these drugs which contains anabolic steroids.

    Au contraire, these drugs that contain those substances which are harmful to humans are available in the market not only in pharmacies but, in every single shopping mall where there is a health store. The culture of taking naturopathic medication or health food is flourishing and most of these items are made all over the world and are freely available without any prescription. This is totally another issue which need not be discussed here. But, WADA, as I feel has a responsibility to raise their voice against the free market of such drugs, to which they are doing absolutely nothing.

    Our main objective here in this particular thread is, to raise a level of awareness and a voice not only against WADA's hypocritical attitude towards ignoring the root cause of this problem, but also about the way the tests are conducted to detect Nandrolone or NA for short. And even before that we need to know the difference between the endogenous and exogenous traces of NA in our bodies.

    It would be very difficult for me or for anyone to sum up a vast subject like this in a blog where a post needs to be short and precise for the interests of the readers. Therefore, I would like to conclude this part here, and write another post as Part two.

  • Kashif Malik on December 22, 2006, 22:28 GMT

    There was a reason why PCB invited Mark Gay at the second hearing; he was their to advise PCB on the consequences following a favourable outcome.

    They knew WADA's and or ICCs intervention would be inevitable. ICC have already been advised by their lawyer on its lack of jurisdiction, and have rightly decided against its own appeal.

    PCB conducted these tests outside ICC competition and had not adopted WADA's codes at the time of testing. Furthermore I don't believe the correct procedures for urine tests, as outlined by both ICC or WADA, were followed. In these circumstances I can't see how WADA can mount a successfull appeal. PCB will be within its right not to accept/recognise outside intervention; hence the PCB chairman's comment "...the matter is closed".

  • Khan on December 22, 2006, 21:11 GMT

    I just want to inform nasir that Shoaib and Asif NEVER declined the B sample test, they just declined to have a RETEST of the A sample. (Asif was saying this on Geo)

  • Raza Zaidi on December 22, 2006, 21:09 GMT

    As some of us predicted after the acquittal, WADA will take the players to court and win full two years bans on both. And then we will be left with nothing but an ugly face. But we prefer to bury our heads in sand and announce that WADA doesnt have jurisdiction here. We are finding loopholes and legal technicalities to let the wrongdoers go scott-free. I mean...not even a token fine!!!??? It is doubtless that a crime has been committed...OK! the rules have been broken, if you want to put a lesser negative spin on this... but pretending that nothing has happened is not only ethically wrong, but almost criminal. WADA has all the rights to do this, and PCB may deny their juridiction all they want, but ICC does acknowledge it and can fairly and legally deny permission to Shoaib and Asif to take part in the WC. And if PCB resists, ICC may well ban the whole team from participation. Now I'm sure financial consideration would probably bar them from doing the latter, but at least banning the players from any ICC sanctioned tournaments is a very good possibility. If that happens, then of course the whole purpose of acquitting the players is gone. But the problem with all of us is that bending the rules has become ingrained in our culture. We want the WC, by hook or by crook. It is truly shameful. And equally shameful should be those "educated" people who are proudly supporting this sham of a decision to let the guilty go, and boasting their knowledge of the ICC and WADA codes to announce that these organizations can not legally touch us. What a disgrace!

  • eba on December 22, 2006, 19:47 GMT

    WADA instead of appreciating PCB decision to be the 5th cricket playing nation of doing dope testing,is trying to be world doping police into the internal matter of the PCB,before appealing against PCB ,if WADA really are very concerned about cricket dope testing it should instead make other cricket playing nations to do dope testing world cup without shoab akhtar will be like a train without a engine

  • zeeshan tirmizi on December 22, 2006, 16:52 GMT

    We are not in a position to say too much about WADA's decision.

    First of all our own players are responsible for the mess in which they find themselves.Shoaib is an excellent bowler but this doping scandal will cast all sorts of doubts over his ability and even his past performances.His conduct off field all this while has not been exemplary.Asif could have come from a rural background but in this age and times,Ignorance is no excuse.He shouldn't have followed Shoaib like his dad.

    PCB is the other culprit in this whole issue who should take the rest of blame.Events like Younis's press conference and resigning,Shahryar Khan's resigning,Testing of the players by PCB,hasty penalties imposed by an ill conceived tribunal appointed by PCB and Nasim Ashraf's mission to bring enlightened moderation to the team,in my opinion point towards a deep-rooted rift among the people in the Power corridors of PCB.

    All of this was such a Mighty Farce! Thanks to the Calming and stabilising presence of Inzamam and ''the Morning-after pills of wisdom'' taken by the PCB,the team has managed to sail out of shallow waters. I hope that Shoaib and Asif can play their much needed part in Pakistan's World cup compaign but I am afraid that the clouds of Foul play will keep on looming over their careers in the future.

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 22, 2006, 16:39 GMT

    If anyone should have done some scenario planning it should have been the second tribunal that overturned the first ruling along with those who rushed to announce "justice is done." Wasn't it a bit short-sighted for them not to have seen this coming? They've allowed a sham to be made of the local legal process, and a mockery to be made of the careers of two sportsmen.

    How is WADA to be blamed for this? How can you expect WADA to sit on the matter or look the other way? How can WADA not perform the very function which happens to be its sole mandate? The overturning of the ban actually invited WADA's intervention. And now we have a belligerent suggestion that PCB might not accept the court of arbitration's jurisdiction in this case. I mean come on... who are we trying to fool exactly? The PCB doesn't operate in a vaccum. We cannot play cricket with ourselves. What if the rest of the world accepts the jurisdiction? Any scenario planning in that case?

  • sameer on December 22, 2006, 16:09 GMT

    The thing that happened to our fast bowlers should be a wake up call i think for the pcb. They should know set and teach players about whch drugs can be used in the game. We can only benefit from the peole who know about the drugs

  • nasir on December 22, 2006, 15:56 GMT

    I think that Wada's involvement may not necessarily be a bad thing after all and all this controversy may finally result in the development of a uniform policy on doping and drug use in cricket.

    I am not completely satisfied with the results of the second tribunal. We cannot really have two different athletes in the same country being handed different sentences. The boxers got life bans, the cricketers walked scot free.

    Yes there were different circumstances involved but we must respect international protocol otherwise the respect our players have earned over the decades could be easily eroded by the actions of a few irreponsible athletes.

    As for my verdict, the very fact that Shoaib and Asif declined the B sample test is proof enough that they knew the substances they were taking were illegal and had consumed them knowingly and wilfully.

    It sets a dangerous precedent to allow them to get awway with no recrimination whatsoever and may encourage others to follow by taking advantage of the same defence strategy. Any suggestions of a conspiracy against Pakistan are unfoundedand only go about to reinforce the smoke screen that hides the real facts.

    I think Wada has done the right thing and will surely lead to some benefit for Pakistan sport for the future, regardless of what happens to Shoiab and Asif.

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  • nasir on December 22, 2006, 15:56 GMT

    I think that Wada's involvement may not necessarily be a bad thing after all and all this controversy may finally result in the development of a uniform policy on doping and drug use in cricket.

    I am not completely satisfied with the results of the second tribunal. We cannot really have two different athletes in the same country being handed different sentences. The boxers got life bans, the cricketers walked scot free.

    Yes there were different circumstances involved but we must respect international protocol otherwise the respect our players have earned over the decades could be easily eroded by the actions of a few irreponsible athletes.

    As for my verdict, the very fact that Shoaib and Asif declined the B sample test is proof enough that they knew the substances they were taking were illegal and had consumed them knowingly and wilfully.

    It sets a dangerous precedent to allow them to get awway with no recrimination whatsoever and may encourage others to follow by taking advantage of the same defence strategy. Any suggestions of a conspiracy against Pakistan are unfoundedand only go about to reinforce the smoke screen that hides the real facts.

    I think Wada has done the right thing and will surely lead to some benefit for Pakistan sport for the future, regardless of what happens to Shoiab and Asif.

  • sameer on December 22, 2006, 16:09 GMT

    The thing that happened to our fast bowlers should be a wake up call i think for the pcb. They should know set and teach players about whch drugs can be used in the game. We can only benefit from the peole who know about the drugs

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 22, 2006, 16:39 GMT

    If anyone should have done some scenario planning it should have been the second tribunal that overturned the first ruling along with those who rushed to announce "justice is done." Wasn't it a bit short-sighted for them not to have seen this coming? They've allowed a sham to be made of the local legal process, and a mockery to be made of the careers of two sportsmen.

    How is WADA to be blamed for this? How can you expect WADA to sit on the matter or look the other way? How can WADA not perform the very function which happens to be its sole mandate? The overturning of the ban actually invited WADA's intervention. And now we have a belligerent suggestion that PCB might not accept the court of arbitration's jurisdiction in this case. I mean come on... who are we trying to fool exactly? The PCB doesn't operate in a vaccum. We cannot play cricket with ourselves. What if the rest of the world accepts the jurisdiction? Any scenario planning in that case?

  • zeeshan tirmizi on December 22, 2006, 16:52 GMT

    We are not in a position to say too much about WADA's decision.

    First of all our own players are responsible for the mess in which they find themselves.Shoaib is an excellent bowler but this doping scandal will cast all sorts of doubts over his ability and even his past performances.His conduct off field all this while has not been exemplary.Asif could have come from a rural background but in this age and times,Ignorance is no excuse.He shouldn't have followed Shoaib like his dad.

    PCB is the other culprit in this whole issue who should take the rest of blame.Events like Younis's press conference and resigning,Shahryar Khan's resigning,Testing of the players by PCB,hasty penalties imposed by an ill conceived tribunal appointed by PCB and Nasim Ashraf's mission to bring enlightened moderation to the team,in my opinion point towards a deep-rooted rift among the people in the Power corridors of PCB.

    All of this was such a Mighty Farce! Thanks to the Calming and stabilising presence of Inzamam and ''the Morning-after pills of wisdom'' taken by the PCB,the team has managed to sail out of shallow waters. I hope that Shoaib and Asif can play their much needed part in Pakistan's World cup compaign but I am afraid that the clouds of Foul play will keep on looming over their careers in the future.

  • eba on December 22, 2006, 19:47 GMT

    WADA instead of appreciating PCB decision to be the 5th cricket playing nation of doing dope testing,is trying to be world doping police into the internal matter of the PCB,before appealing against PCB ,if WADA really are very concerned about cricket dope testing it should instead make other cricket playing nations to do dope testing world cup without shoab akhtar will be like a train without a engine

  • Raza Zaidi on December 22, 2006, 21:09 GMT

    As some of us predicted after the acquittal, WADA will take the players to court and win full two years bans on both. And then we will be left with nothing but an ugly face. But we prefer to bury our heads in sand and announce that WADA doesnt have jurisdiction here. We are finding loopholes and legal technicalities to let the wrongdoers go scott-free. I mean...not even a token fine!!!??? It is doubtless that a crime has been committed...OK! the rules have been broken, if you want to put a lesser negative spin on this... but pretending that nothing has happened is not only ethically wrong, but almost criminal. WADA has all the rights to do this, and PCB may deny their juridiction all they want, but ICC does acknowledge it and can fairly and legally deny permission to Shoaib and Asif to take part in the WC. And if PCB resists, ICC may well ban the whole team from participation. Now I'm sure financial consideration would probably bar them from doing the latter, but at least banning the players from any ICC sanctioned tournaments is a very good possibility. If that happens, then of course the whole purpose of acquitting the players is gone. But the problem with all of us is that bending the rules has become ingrained in our culture. We want the WC, by hook or by crook. It is truly shameful. And equally shameful should be those "educated" people who are proudly supporting this sham of a decision to let the guilty go, and boasting their knowledge of the ICC and WADA codes to announce that these organizations can not legally touch us. What a disgrace!

  • Khan on December 22, 2006, 21:11 GMT

    I just want to inform nasir that Shoaib and Asif NEVER declined the B sample test, they just declined to have a RETEST of the A sample. (Asif was saying this on Geo)

  • Kashif Malik on December 22, 2006, 22:28 GMT

    There was a reason why PCB invited Mark Gay at the second hearing; he was their to advise PCB on the consequences following a favourable outcome.

    They knew WADA's and or ICCs intervention would be inevitable. ICC have already been advised by their lawyer on its lack of jurisdiction, and have rightly decided against its own appeal.

    PCB conducted these tests outside ICC competition and had not adopted WADA's codes at the time of testing. Furthermore I don't believe the correct procedures for urine tests, as outlined by both ICC or WADA, were followed. In these circumstances I can't see how WADA can mount a successfull appeal. PCB will be within its right not to accept/recognise outside intervention; hence the PCB chairman's comment "...the matter is closed".

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 22, 2006, 22:32 GMT

    Part One – WADA and yada yada.

    A few weeks ago I posed this question to Kamran Abbassi in a different thread about WADA's concern on Shoaib & Asif's acquittal and inquired whether WADA is going to come up with an appeal? The thread was not the right one, so my post did not get a spot in it.

    Now, the cat is out of the bag and, like Kamran says: Wada is yada yada-ing over this issue by appealing against the acquittal decision.

    In Sanskrit the word, "yada-yada means "whenever - wherever". I would like add another "yada" to it and create an additional meaning, "whatever". So, WADA wants to blab, whatever, whenever and wherever!

    In September 2005, WADA had a big meeting here in MONTREAL, which was a follow up of their earlier meeting here in May 2005. The Chairman of WADA, Mr. Richard Pound and his team of hotshots indulged themselves in the luxuries of exploiting the funds they receive from various governments in the name of keeping the sports bodies clean and free from drugs, did nothing different from what any bureaucratic government department or agency would do.

    The meeting was concluded with a 46 pages report mainly about the internal procedural matters and implication of the rules and regulations to control the use and abuse of drugs in sports through various national and international sport bodies etc. But, there was NO mention or even a hint towards those gigantic pharmaceutical industries to stop manufacturing these drugs which contains anabolic steroids.

    Au contraire, these drugs that contain those substances which are harmful to humans are available in the market not only in pharmacies but, in every single shopping mall where there is a health store. The culture of taking naturopathic medication or health food is flourishing and most of these items are made all over the world and are freely available without any prescription. This is totally another issue which need not be discussed here. But, WADA, as I feel has a responsibility to raise their voice against the free market of such drugs, to which they are doing absolutely nothing.

    Our main objective here in this particular thread is, to raise a level of awareness and a voice not only against WADA's hypocritical attitude towards ignoring the root cause of this problem, but also about the way the tests are conducted to detect Nandrolone or NA for short. And even before that we need to know the difference between the endogenous and exogenous traces of NA in our bodies.

    It would be very difficult for me or for anyone to sum up a vast subject like this in a blog where a post needs to be short and precise for the interests of the readers. Therefore, I would like to conclude this part here, and write another post as Part two.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 22, 2006, 22:37 GMT

    Part Two: Nandrolone and Testing procedures.

    Experts at the research units for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, all over the world are working hard to determine the reasons for the endogenous increase of NA in our system.

    Also, in their opinion, they are concerned about the way the "false and inaccurate" tests that are being conducted by the sport bodies / authorities and labs all over the world and how they are affecting the lives of the athletes and sport lovers.

    A few weeks ago, when Shoaib and Asif were banned, I had quoted an abstract from a research report of scientists from Aberdeen University, Scotland. And this time I would like to quote a few abstracts from the reports of experts from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

    First, about Nandrolone or NA's presence in our bodies and how it can increase:

    1. Endogenously – through diet and exercise and a combination of both. 2. Exogenously – through pills (such as anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs.

    Our bodies produce NA endogenously as an intermediate in the aromatization of androgen to oestrogen through the intake of high protein diet such as red meat, beef, eggs and fish which has high contents of zinc. An increase in serum testosterone in men who are marginally zinc deficient has been shown after zinc supplementation. Also, diets deficient in zinc resulted in a significant decrease in serum testosterone concentration.

    Therefore, it can be concluded that zinc supports testosterone production. Although there is a linear relationship between serum zinc and serum testosterone concentrations, it is not known whether it is due to supra-physiological doses of zinc which are associated with higher levels of testosterone production or it is due to the fact that certain athletes are marginally zinc deficient because of inadequate intake and considerable sweat loss.

    The report suggests that it is due to BOTH i.e., high intake of protein diet and heavy exercise resulting in dehydration. And their findings are based from the testing of professional soccer players over 19 months and collected 385 urine samples. Urine NA concentrations after soccer games were significantly higher than before games. Intense exercise has been associated with raised levels of NA in the urine.

    Therefore, they say that: "It is conceivable that the increase in circulating androgens in people participating in short duration, high intensity exercise could result in the stimulation of the aromatase enzyme complex, resulting in an absolute increase in the amount of NA in the urine."

    Therefore, there is sufficient data to suggest that a urine specimen collected after high intensity exercise could have a higher concentration of NA for reasons other than dehydration.

    The second point was about the testing procedures in the laboratory testing methods which are lacking in accuracy and how complicated and messy individual cases can be made to appear by those tests, and how our judgments about them are coloured by a range of moral possibilities and intersecting contextual features. They say that banning an athlete on the basis of false and inaccurate tests and on the basis of man made rules is nothing more than: "Aa quest for an imaginary evil." This is so much like the political imaginary evil. Like, Osama is still guiding the terrorists, in reality the guy may or may not be alive or Saddam is still hiding the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!

    The exogenous intake of such anabolic steroids, if they are harmful to human consumption why is it restricted to athletes only? What about the rest of the population? Therefore, WADA must adhere not only in implementing the man made rules to ruin the lives of a few athletes, but should also go further and demand from those governments whose pharmaceutical companies are manufacturing such harmful anabolic steroids and minting billions of dollars

    In conclusion the report could be summed up as: Nandrolone or NA, is produced endogenously in our bodies as an intermediate in the aromatisation of androgen to oestrogen. Intense exercise may increase its concentration in the urine. Future laboratory testing methods need to distinguish endogenous from exogenous nandrolone metabolites accurately, as this has important implications for doping control in sports. And WADA should stop blabing yada yada yada and be realistic in their approach.