Yahoo news | PTI | 15 September 2010
Four Pakistani cricketers will undergo dope tests before the third One-Day International against England on Friday, a Pakistan team official said. Team manager Yawar Saeed confirmed that a team of experts from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had reached London and had notified the Pakistan team that random dope tests would be conducted before the match to be played at The Oval.
Yawar said WADA had not conveyed which players would be picked for the tests on Wednesday but sources in the team said that four senior players had been shortlisted. "Captain, Shahid Afridi, fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar and batsmen Mohammad Yousuf and Umar Akmal have been shortlisted for the tests," one source said.
Yawar said the dope tests were a routine matter as Pakistan Cricket Board was a signatory to the WADA anti-doping code, which other boards had signed as well. "Under this agreement WADA can conduct random dope tests during any competition or out of competition at any time of the year," he said.
Pakistan cricket in the past has been tainted by positive dope tests of star players such as mercurial pacer Shoaib Akhtar and the currently suspended Mohammad Asif. Both the pacers had tested positive during out of competition tests by the PCB before the 2006 Champions Trophy and were banned but then had their bans removed on appeal on technical grounds.
Asif, who has been released from the team, and is serving a provincial suspension by the ICC for his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing and betting scandal, also served a 12-month suspension period in 2008-2009 for flunking a dope test during the Indian Premier League. He was also detained for 19 days in 2008 at the Dubai airport for possession of small quantity of hashish but later released without any criminal charges against him.