The Asif affair June 20, 2008

Asif returns to Pakistan

Cricinfo staff
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Mohammad Asif is back in Pakistan after spending 19 days in detention in the UAE © AFP
 
Mohammad Asif has returned to Pakistan after being deported from the UAE, where he was in detention since June 1 for suspected possession of an illegal substance. The case against him was dropped by the Dubai public prosecutor on the grounds of "insignificance."

"First of all, I am thankful to God and I am happy to be back in my country. Now I am not going anywhere," Asif said at Lahore airport, where he arrived after taking a connecting flight from Karachi.

Asif maintained that he was innocent. "I did not use any banned substance. During the Indian Premier League, I underwent two doping tests, and cleared both of them," he said. "If I had been tested positive, the ICC would not have cleared me."

He also credited those who had worked for his release. "I am thankful to our ambassador in Dubai, Ahsanullah Khan, who put in a lot of effort, and when Nadeem Akram [the PCB's director - human resources] arrived, it gave me lots of encouragement."

Meanwhile, Asif is set to face an internal enquiry from the PCB, which earlier in the day issued a press release to confirm the case against him had been dropped. "The drug tests conducted on Asif during the investigations in Dubai were clear and negative for any contraband substance."