Sixty eight randomly selected cricketers cleared by WADA May 17, 2007

The World Cup was drug free

Cricinfo staff

Despite being cleared by their board of using nandralone, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif's case is still in litigation © AFP
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has cleared all 68 cricketers randomly tested during the World Cup. Their samples produced a negative result for banned substances.

"The fact that all drug tests at the World Cup proved negative is a great result for the game. It sends out a very positive message, something everyone connected with the game can be very proud of" Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, said.

Speed also said that the tests confirms cricket's low-risk reputation when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs, but warned against complacency in this regard. Fifteen of the tournament's 51 matches were randomly chosen. Two players from the teams involved in these matches were, again, randomly picked for testing, giving a total of 68 samples that were sent for analysis.

But there was indeed some drug-related controversy in the run up to the World Cup, when Pakistan fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were found to have consumed nandralone in an internal drug test conducted by the Pakistan Board. The duo were initially banned but cleared by an enquiry committee led by Justice Fakhruddin Ibrahim.

The WADA had strongly contested the findings of the committee, and a case regarding the matter is still in arbitration. The official reason given by the Board for the absence of the two from the World Cup was that they were injured.

Asif has since been selected in the Pakistan squad to take on Sri Lanka in three ODIs in Abu Dhabi, while Shoaib has been picked in the Asian squad to take part in the Afro-Asia Cup next month.