Asif returns home from Dubai

Updated: 23 June 2008 18:00 IST

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammed Asif returned home on Friday after Dubai authorities dropped a drug investigation against him.

Asif returns home from Dubai

Islamabad, Pakistan:

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammed Asif returned home on Friday after Dubai authorities dropped a drug investigation against him.

"Asif is back in Pakistan," Pakistan Cricket Board human resources manager Nadim Akram said on Friday.

Asif was held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, since June 1 after authorities allegedly found an illegal substance in his wallet as he traveled though the city's international airport on his way home from playing in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.

Asif arrived in Pakistan on a flight from Dubai early Friday and immediately proclaimed his innocence.

"No banned substance was recovered from me, and all of my tests were clear," Asif told reporters at Lahore International Airport.

He said he had also been cleared in the two earlier medical tests before playing in India.

"If those tests had not been cleared, ICC would have banned me earlier," he said, referring to world cricket's governing body, the International Cricket Council.

The PCB said in a statement that it welcomed Asif's release and was "relieved that this ordeal is over."

"We appreciate the professional manner in which this whole issue was dealt with by the Dubai police, prosecution department and the UAE authorities," it said.

The PCB said it will conduct an immediate inquiry into the matter, "as per its policies and procedures," once official records are received from United Arab Emirates authorities.

Asif was accused of carrying 0.01 ounces (0.25 grams) of opium. The test bowler tested negative for drugs and was not charged, but was questioned by Dubai authorities for drug possession and smuggling while he remained in custody at the airport's detention center.

Asif is a promising fast bowler with 51 wickets in 11 Test matches.

While detained in Dubai, Asif was omitted from the national squad for the upcoming Asia Cup limited-overs tournament, which starts in Pakistan next week.

In 2006, Asif and fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone. The PCB initially banned the players for one and two years respectively, but the suspensions were overturned on appeal.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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