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Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2006, 15:36 GMT
Pakistan to face doping challenge
Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar
Asif and Shoaib are set to resume their careers in domestic cricket
The World Anti-Doping Agency is to challenge Pakistan's decision to lift bans on fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif.

Wada chairman Dick Pound told BBC World Service Sport they would take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Shoaib and Asif were banned after testing positive for a banned steroid.

But an appeal panel later overturned the bans after ruling that neither player took the drug deliberately.

Wada is to contest the decision on the basis that the International Cricket Council is a signatory to the anti-doping code and Pakistan, as one of its full members, should therefore be subject to its provisions.

"The two players tested positive. They have not even asked for the B samples to be analysed, so they accept the result [of the initial tests] and the Pakistan Cricket Board simply did not apply the code," said Pound.

He criticised the ICC for failing to take decisive action over the matter.

"The ICC doesn't seem to be entirely clear which way it wants to go, so rather than wait and possibly have the thing fall between stools, we're going to exercise our responsibility under the code - we do not think the proper result has been achieved to date."

He continued: "If we are successful in this, I think it will be a matter of considerable embarrassment to the ICC that it did not act."

We would urge CAS to deal with the matter as expeditiously as possible but these things have to take their course

Dick Pound

On Wednesday, PCB chairman Dr Naseem Ashraf insisted the case was an "internal matter" and was now "over".

But in response, Pound said: "Our job is to monitor compliance with the world anti-doping code which prohibits the substances the two cricketers took.

"In cases of that nature, there are sanctions that are meant to be applied and in our view they have been improperly applied.

"You cannot have in an anti-doping system an individual national federation purporting to act without regard to the rules of the international federation which has adopted the code."

Shoaib was originally banned for two years and his younger team-mate for 12 months after traces of nandrolone were found in their samples, but a three-man panel upheld their appeals by a 2-1 majority.

Despite that, Dr Ashraf said Pakistan supported a zero tolerance policy towards drugs.

It is likely to take "months rather than weeks", according to Pound, for the Court of Arbitration to rule on the matter, which would enable Shoaib and Asif to play in the World Cup in the West Indies next March, if selected.

"That would be something we would bring to the attention of CAS to urge them to deal with the matter as expeditiously as possible but these things have to take their course," he added.

ICC & Wada discuss Pakistan case
07 Dec 06 |  Pakistan
Flak flies in Pakistan drugs case
06 Dec 06 |  Pakistan
Pakistan duo win drugs ban appeal
05 Dec 06 |  Pakistan
Shoaib & Asif wait for comeback
05 Dec 06 |  Pakistan
Q&A: Nandrolone
16 Oct 06 |  Health


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