Asif's hearing to be held in London

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Disgraced Pak pacer Mohd. Asif's request to conduct his drugs inquiry tribunal hearing held at a neutral venue has been accepted by the IPL.

Updated: December 17, 2008 17:08 IST
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Disgraced Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif's request to conduct his drugs inquiry tribunal hearing held at a neutral venue has been accepted by the Indian Premier League (IPL) and it will now be held in London on January 24.

The pacer confirmed on Wednesday that he had been informed about the new date of the hearing by the IPL authorities. The IPL has formed a three-member drugs inquiry tribunal to hear his case after Asif tested positive during the inaugural Twenty20 event semi-finals and later his "B" sample test also came positive in Geneva in August.

The tribunal that includes former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has already held a hearing and was scheduled to meet on November 29 in Mumbai but the hearing was postponed due to the terror attacks in Mumbai.

"Because of the sad incident in Mumbai we felt it would be best to have the hearing at a neutral venue and we had requested the IPL to consider a neutral venue. I am thankful they have accepted my request," Asif said.

"I am really frustrated at being unable to play any cricket until the tribunal gives a clear decision on my case which is why I am keen to have this thing over with as soon as possible," he added.

If the tribunal finds him guilty of using banned substances and upholds the test results, Asif could face a ban upto two years, which will start from the day his hearing began.

Asif has appealed against the test results on technical grounds and challenged the procedure adopted to conduct the dope tests. The pacer said he was happy the hearing would be held in London as the sports medicine expert helping him was also based there.

"Our main purpose was that there should be no further delay in the hearing and myself and my lawyer felt because of the Mumbai tragedy things could be delayed further," he said. Asif said he was confident the tribunal would reach a decision at the next hearing.

Asif remains suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for his failed dope test. The PCB has also rejected his pleas to provide him legal help and support in his case. The Board has said it would only decide on his future after the IPL tribunal reaches a decision.

Asif said he was frustrated at the delay in things and had asked for a neutral venue selection.

"It was obvious that after the Mumbai attacks the conditions in the region and the relations between India and Pakistan were not very good and it would not be possible to have a hearing soon anywhere in India," he said.

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