We had no doubts, says panel member November 2, 2006

Sad but we had to make an example of Shoaib - Alam

Cricinfo staff



"He drinks alcohol, has an active sex life and he's been part of anti-doping awareness programmes." Intikhab Alam on Shoaib Akthar © Getty Images
Intikhab Alam, one of the three-member panel that recommended the ban on Shoaib Akthar and Mohammad Asif, said he was sad but had no regrets about the decision.

"We didn't have any doubts in our minds about what we have announced," Intikhab, the former Pakistan captain, told Bigstarcricket. "They were not able to convince us of their innocence. It was crystal clear. They admitted themselves that they had been taking dietary supplements. They are both adults and players have to be responsible for their own actions. Sometimes you have to take these decisions. We have done a good job."

Intikhab was certain that the tough, albeit sad, decision had to be taken as it would set an example for the young cricketers of the future. "It's sad that it happened but now the youngsters coming up will be very, very careful. We had to set an example.

"If the players just got their strength from good old-fashioned fitness work and didn't abuse their bodies with these supplements, they would still be playing."

Intikhab also said he didn't know why the two players declined the chance to give a second B test and suggested the only reason could have been that their retest would also have been positive.

Intikhab rubbished speculations that the panel was unfairly harsher on Akhtar than Asif. "If people read our statement they will understand," Intikhab asserted. "He [Shoaib] drinks alcohol, has an active sex life and he's been part of anti-doping awareness programmes. Shoaib has been around for the last ten years and the written statement that his spokesman gave about him taking dietary supplements and not consulting a doctor, shows he was negligent."

On Asif he said: "We decided to ban him for a year because his English is not that good, he comes from a remote village where he would not have been educated on the dangers of drugs in sport and so he doesn't understand."