KARACHI: Pakistan’s 22-year-old left arm spinner Raza Hasan may face suspension from all forms of cricket after testing positive for cocaine in a dope test conducted during the recent Pentangular Cup in Karachi.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which conducted random testing during the tournament, sent Raza's samples to a World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) accredited laboratory in India.
A source close to the PCB said that Raza, who has represented Pakistan in one ODI and 10 T20s, has been advised to submit his response through a legal counsel to a two-member committee formulated by the board in this regard.
“The results of the ‘B’ sample are still awaited but on the basis of the ‘A’ sample results, the board has already established a two-member committee to charge the spinner and seek an explanation from him,” a source close to the board told a Press Trust of India correspondent.
“The PCB is taking the matter very seriously because this is the first time any player has tested positive for the use of cocaine. If Raza fails to clear himself before the inquiry committee, he will face a two-year ban from all forms of cricket.”
It remains to be seen whether Raza will also face a police investigation after the PCB inquiry as the use of cocaine is a criminal offence in Pakistan.
The use cocaine may be the first incident of its kind, but several international players have been reported and banned from playing cricket for using illegal drugs.
Pakistan and Somerset bowler Abdur Rehman was suspended for 12 weeks after testing positive for cannabis during a stint in the English county season.
Former speedsters Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, who is currently banned for spot-fixing, were found guilty of using the banned steroid nandrolone and subsequently restricted from taking part in the ICC Champions Trophy in India in 2006.
Akhtar and Asif were also dropped from taking part in ICC 2007 World Cup in the West Indies and banned for two and one year respectively.
Former Australian great Shane Warne had been also banned for 12 months just before the 2003 World Cup in South Africa after he was tested positive for a diuretic known as Moduretic.
— Additional reporting by Abdul Ghaffar