Dope scandal August 19, 2008

Asif's B sample tests positive

Cricinfo staff
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Mohammad Asif faces a ban after his B sample taken during the IPL also tested positive for a banned substance © AFP
 

The B sample of Mohammad Asif, the Pakistan fast bowler, taken during the Indian Premier League has tested positive for nandrolone, a banned substance, AFP has reported. Last month the IPL had revealed that Asif had tested positive in random testing conducted during the tournament. Asif, who played for the Delhi Daredevils, had asked for his B sample to be analysed.

Asif, who faces a possible two-year ban, and his lawyer have questioned the discrepancy in the readings of the two samples. The second sample had a nandrolone concentration of 5.4 nanograms per millilitre of urine while the first had 6.2 nanograms. "We have just completed the test on Asif's B sample and it has come back positive," Asif's lawyer Shahid Karim told AFP. "But I can tell you that the quantity of nandrolone has varied, which we can contest. We hope to further this case once we get an official test report from the IPL." According to WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) regulations, upto two nanograms per millilitre is permissible.

Asif, who was in Geneva for the analysis along with his lawyer, was confident of proving himself innocent. "Both my lawyer and medical experts are confident that we can fight this case and come out clean," he said. "The last few months have been upsetting and I want to put them behind me."

He had been suspended by the PCB from all forms of the game pending the result of the IPL inquiry. Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, had previously told Cricinfo that if Asif's B sample also tests positive, the matter will be taken up by the IPL's drugs tribunal, comprising Sunil Gavaskar, Dr Ravi Bapat (ex-vice chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences) and lawyer Shirish Gupte. The tribunal will take a decision in accordance with the ICC's anti-doping code, which the IPL had adopted.

Besides testing positive during the IPL, Asif is also embroiled in another mess, having been detained at Dubai airport in June for allegedly possessing drugs. He was released by authorities after 19 days in detention, but an internal inquiry by the Pakistan board had reportedly found the evidence to be "pretty conclusive" against the player, and had recommended a ban.

The fast bowler previously tested positive for nandrolone, the banned anabolic steroid, along with Shoaib Akhtar, just before the 2006 Champions Trophy in India. Though he was banned for one year by a PCB tribunal, the punishment was overturned a month later on appeal.