Posts Tagged ‘Doping’

ICC leaves more questions than answers….

Posted: October 19, 2009 in Uncategorized
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Here is an interview with James Fitzgerald on various issues related to doping and the WADA ‘Whereabouts’ clause. It was collected by RajaB of BCC!, so all credit goes to him.

What is interesting about this interview (seems more like a chat) is that Fitzgerald, part of the Media & Communications wing of the ICC, doesn’t seem to want to actually provide proper answers, rather, just one-liners. He seems very reluctant to comment on a variety of issues, such as whether Mohammad Asif’s entry to UAE for the ODI series against NZ will be guaranteed by the ICC, or as to whether they are going to form their own anti-doping body.

Most of those answers seems diplomatically hostile, which really doesn’t help anything. I just hope that they’d be more open and just answer the damn questions than just mumbling some gibberish which no-one can translate!

The IPL’s commissioner, Lalit Modi, revealed a few days ago that out of the many random urine samples that were taken for doping tests, one of them came out positive. As I initially read it, I was cool, thinking “ah it’s positive, so it’s good”. After a few seconds, I realised that positive meant bad, and I delved into the report.

According to Modi, he said that the urine sample would be matched with the appropriate application, and if the player has declared that he used the drug in the application form, then the case is closed.

If not, a “sample ‘B'”, which was provided with the sample ‘A’, would also be tested, and if that is negative, then, again, the case is closed.

If not, the case will then be taken up by the IPL drugs tribunal, comprising of Sunil Gavaskar, Dr Ravi Bapat (ex-Vice Chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences) and lawyer Shirish Gupte.

Later, yesteday, it was revealed that it was none other than Mohammed Asif, who was detained in Dubai for nearly 3 weeks recently for having hashish in his purse!

A pity, really, this boy is just killing off his career by dabbling with drugs. Undoubtedly, he is “surprised” and “shocked”, but we all know that the repurcussions could be huge this time around. Moreover, the PCB have refused to help him out, saying that they have bailed him out enough times. The PCB have also suspended him indefenitely, and it could possibly result in a life – ban.

However, Asif may have a chance to break out of jail free because the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) rules state that the player’s identity should not be revealed until the sample ‘B’ results come out. Since the IPL have violated this, Danish Zaheer, a medical expert, says that if the lawyers do a good enough job, he might be able to go off scot – free.

Its really sad, I just love his bowling, and he’s a great talent. As I have mentioned before in this blog, he’s McGrath reborn, and I just hate to see him waste his talent like this. But perhaps this is what Aamer Sohail meant, when, during the recently concluded Asia Cup, he said that players are given fame at too early an age nowadays, and they don’t understand the value of playing for their country (or for their club, in this case).

As much as I hate to say this, I think Asif should be given a life – ban. The reason for this is because this is the 3rd time that he’s been caught involved with drugs, and another lifeline would set a bad example to the younger generation, who would feel that as long as you have talent, the selectors and the board won’t care about what you do. It’s high time that Asif learnt it the hard way.

But sadly, I doubt it’ll happen because Pakistan has a history of letting off people for whom they have a soft spot. I don’t know how many of you know this, but, the judge who presided over Wasim Akram match – fixing case revealed last year that he didn’t give a life – ban to Waz because he had a soft – spot for him, and didn’t want to see his great talent go to waste. However, this judge couldn’t find it in him to give a very young Ata-ur-Rehman (a great talent)a lifeline, and got him banned for life (which was overturned 2 years ago).

Another more present case would be Shoaib Akthar. Despite all his child – like stubbornness, he’s another one of those players who was never punished for his behavioural transgressions because everyone had a soft spot for him.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against these two. In fact, I feel that these guys are ‘once-in-a-generation’ talents, but the way they have been treated by the Board really doesn’t put the Board in a good light, and is bad for Pakistan Cricket as a whole.

I just hope that they don’t muffle this one up and take every chance to knock him off their roster

News came from Dubai yesterday that the Dubai public prosecutor, Mohammad Al Nuaimi, who was in charge of Mohammed Asif’s case, had dropped the charges against him due to its insignificance. “It is definite that he committed the crime as he was caught red-handed … however in certain cases and for a faster litigation process the Public Prosecution drops a case due to insignificance and deports the suspect.” said Mr. Al Nuaimi. However, Cricinfo reveals that there may have been some diplomatic work done for his release.

I’m over the moon with the news, because I’ve been a big fan of Asif ever since I saw him bowling here in Sri Lanka 2 years ago. What really attracted me was the way he fooled SL batsman Thilan Samaraweera twice in 3 innings by pitching the ball way outside off – stump, drawing him into a false sense of security and making him shoulder his bat, only to find the ball pitching in viciously and knocking off-stump. It did make him look very foolish indeed. Another reason would be that I could watch a Glenn McGrath clone at least another 10 years, fitness permitting.

However, Asif doesn’t seem to be learning from his mistakes. After being caught using nandrolone along with Shoaib Akthar, I assumed that he would’ve learned a good lesson after being given a lifeline by the authorities. This time, he was caught with hashish (cannabis) in his purse, which he denies any knowledge of. Thankfully, he didn’t have any in his bloodstream, so the potential problems were less.

Some people, in addition to questioning the wisety of keeping drugs in his purse, have also questioned as to why he didn’t take the simple route of going directly to Pakistan from the IPL rather than going through Dubai. Only Asif knows the answer to that! 

In other Pakistan news, Kamran Akmal has finally been dropped! I have nothing against Akmal, but its just that he’s been in a rut for nearly 2 years, and I think the Pakistan selectors were just torturing him by keeping him in the side even though his performances weren’t showing any improvement. I feel that it’s a welcome decision by the selectors, and it’ll give him some time to work on his flaws, become a better keeper, and get back to his dashing best. U-19 keeper Sarfraz Ahmed has been made the keeper for the Asia Cup.