Karachi/New Delhi:The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Monday distanced itself from dope offender Mohammad Asif, saying that the fast bowler is now on his own.
Asif faces a possible life ban for testing positive a second time at a random test conducted during the Indian Premier League (IPL) in May. IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi confirmed Monday that the 25-year-old Sheikhupura-born player, who represented Delhi Daredevils in the IPL, failed the dope test.
The IPL came to the conclusion after comparing the result from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-approved laboratory in Switzerland with the data collected by IDTM, the Sweden based independent agency which organised the anti-dope testing in accordance with the WADA code.
A top PCB official told IANS that unlike in the past, the board will not provide any help to the 25-year-old player if he is handed out a ban.
"Our policy about dope offenders is very clear," said Shafqat Naghmi, PCB's chief operating officer. "The board will not provide any kind of help to Asif and he will have to fight his case himself," he added.
Two years back, the board had threw its weight behind Asif when he tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone along with fellow pacer Shoaib Akhtar during the ICC Champions Trophy in India.
The board hired expensive lawyers and managed to get the bowlers off the hook even after they were banned by an inquiry committee set up by the PCB itself. The board provided legal aid to Asif when he was detained in Dubai for possession of a banned drug last month.
But Naghmi said that the board has had it with Asif. "We cannot afford any more negative publicity," he said.
Naghmi said that the PCB has also decided to drop Asif from Pakistan's preliminary squad for this September's Champions Trophy. "Asif has failed a dope test so he cannot play for Pakistan till that matter is resolved," he said.
The fast bowler can now request the IPL to analyse his B-sample and once it is done the player has to appear before the IPL Drug Tribunal comprising Ravi Bapat, Sunil Gavaskar and Shirish Gupte.
Asif, who was nursing an injury on his bowling arm when he came to play in the IPL, had not applied for Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), which perhaps could have saved him.
The WADA officials arrived in India from Sweden May 18 when the 44-day IPL was moving towards its final phase to do random dope tests.
A day before the WADA testing, Asif sat out of the game against Kings XI Punjab and wasn't part of the team in subsequent three games. The reason given for Asif's absence was an elbow problem and the player was found wearing a strap around his elbow as his team mates continued to practice.
Later, the injury was described as non-serious though Asif hasn't played much competitive cricket since then because of his stay at the Dubai detention centre.