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Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif can heave a massive sigh of relief. You can be sure that if their case had been heard at the Court for Arbitration for Sport their plea of ignorance would not have been received sympathetically.
In truth, though, there are no winners. Shoaib and Asif will have to endure snide remarks for the rest of their careers. The ICC has been shown to be impotent beyond events that it officially organises, a sorry state for a sport's governing body. WADA flexed its muscles and discovered that they are no bigger than those puny bumps possessed by Montgomery Burns. And the PCB has bizarrely claimed a triumph when it set off this whole farce with a badly executed hearing and then staged a pantomime over the appearance of Shoaib and Asif in the World Cup.
There is no place for performance-enhancing drugs in sport but we don't want miscarriages of justice either. The PCB, ICC, and WADA have all contributed to this failure of process. It can't be allowed to happen again but it will unless all three organisations make sure their processes are aligned.
I wouldn't bet on it.
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets hereFeeds: Kamran Abbasi
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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi