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June 19, 2008
The case against Mohammad Asif, who was detained in Dubai on June 1 for suspected possession of an illegal substance, has been dropped by the Dubai public prosecutor and the fast bowler will be deported soon, according to a report in the Gulf News.
The report quoted the public prosecutor, Mohammad Al Nuaimi, as saying the case was being dropped due to "insignificance".
The Pakistan board issued a press release to confirm the case against Asif had been dropped. "The drug tests conducted on Asif during the investigations in Dubai were clear and negative for any contraband substance." However the board said it intended to conduct an enquiry in to the matter as soon as it received official records from the UAE authorities. Even if the PCB doesn't take action against Asif, it is likely the ICC might. They have been monitoring the situation and it is possible that Asif will face penalties under the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), of which the ICC is a signatory, once he is released.
Aamir Bilal, media advisor to the PCB, told Cricinfo that Asif would be in Pakistan by midnight on June 20.
"He [Asif] will be deported as soon as the police finalise the procedures," Mohammad Al Nuaimi, the public prosecutor who handled Asif's case, told Gulf News. "It is definite that he committed the crime as he was caught red-handed ... however in certain cases and for a faster litigation process the Public Prosecution drops a case due to insignificance and deports the suspect."
Pakistan's ambassador to the UAE, Ahsanullah Khan, also confirmed to the BBC's Urdu service that Asif would return to Pakistan, but refused to specify the legal position on the charges of possession of contraband. He also said that the PCB and the Pakistan embassy had played a significant role in this matter.
Dave Richardson, the ICC's acting chief executive, had said that they had asked the PCB to keep them updated on the Asif issue. "As far as we know he has not been charged as yet," Richardson said. "But since the ICC is a signatory of WADA regulations if he is charged then he is liable to penalties under WADA code of conduct."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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