Thursday, 2 November 2006

Drug bans

Shoaib Akhtar has received a two year ban for using nandrolone and Mohammad Asif received a one year ban. Reading between the lines of the PCB press release it appears Asif came clean while Akhtar pleaded not guilty and then failed to convince the Board of his case. Presumably he was unable to provide any of the herbal medicine that he claims caused the failed test result.

Interestingly a two year ban is the minimum ban under the ICC's doping rules, so both Akhtar and Asif have got off lightly. Asif seems to be the luckier of the two, given that part of the PCB statement says that "Pakistan physician Darryn Lifson confirmed he stopped [Asif] from taking a banned substance a few months back." So he was caught and let off without punishment, and then he was caught a second time and given half the minimum penalty. Hmmm, not quite the hard line that the PCB had promised.

Despite the relatively light sentence this is likely to mark the end of Akhtar's career. He will be 33 when the ban is lifted and that is pretty old for the quick bowler. Asif is only 23 and still looks to have a future in the game.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I don't know any of the relevant rules, but I wonder whether Akhtar may have prospects of appeal on the grounds of bias, procedural unfairness, or ireelevant considerations being used in determining his convinction/sentence. Consider these public statements from the of the three panel members: http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/current/story/266665.html. These appeal indicate Akhtar was treated more harshly than his teammate due to judgments about his sex life and drinking habits. It also reflects a reversal of the usual burden of proof. Appeals are likely to be lodged, so we shall see.