Karachi:Embattled Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif did carry a small amount of opium when he was detained at the Dubai airport last year, PCB sources have claimed. Asif spent 19 days in detention for possessing banned drugs while returning to Pakistan after playing the inaugural Indian Premier League.
Sources close to the PCB inquiry committee, which conducted a probe into his detention in Dubai confirmed he had been deported last June for possession of 0.24 grams of opium.
"Although no criminal charges was laid against him, but since he was deported Asif cannot enter Dubai unless he is given permission by the immigration and police authorities there," one PCB source said.
The source said the only other way possible for Asif to enter Dubai was through the Pakistan foreign office which would have to plead his case with the United Arab Emirates authorities.
According to documents sent to the Board by the Dubai police, which investigated the case, Asif did not accept that he was carrying opium with him, the source said.
Asif told investigators that he had been using the substance for energy and blood pressure control and it had been prescribed to him by a local Hakeem.
Asif claimed that he did not know what it was and he had last used it four months before he was detained in Dubai, the source said.
He, however, admitted that Asif was allowed to return home without facing criminal charges since Pakistan had friendly relations with the UAE government.
The source said documents sent by the authorities in Dubai had shown that the Dubai Public Prosecutor advocated not filing criminal charges against Asif on the grounds that the accused was arrested before being able to enter the state and because very small amount of the drug was found in his possession.
The source said even the urine sample of the pacer, taken in Dubai, had tested negative.
Asif though had tested positive for a banned substance during dope tests conducted by the IPL.
He remains suspended by the Pakistan board until the IPL drugs inquiry tribunal gives a decision on his case. The hearing of the IPL tribunal will be held on January 24. "One thing is confirmed it cannot be held in Dubai because the pacer has been deported from there," the source said.
The PCB inquiry committee did not submit its recommendations to the Board after Ejaz Butt took over as Chairman in October and members of the committee, including chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi and director human resources Nadeem Akram, were asked to resign by the new Chairman.
However, the present PCB set up says they never got a chance to see the documents of the investigations carried out by the Dubai police in the Asif case as Naghmi had taken away the files with him.