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Doping tribunal fails to hold preliminary hearing

October 22, 2006

LAHORE, Oct 21: The first hearing of the PCB tribunal, investigating into the charges of positive dope test on two fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, could not be held formally here on Saturday after one of its member Dr Waqar Ahmed failed to reach Lahore due to flight problems.

The three-member tribunal, headed by Shahid Hamid, will again meet on Thursday. Former Test captain Intikhab Alam is the third member, besides Barrister Shahid and Dr Waqar.

Shahid deferred the meeting for Thursday after waiting for Dr Waqar till 12.45pm.

Later, Shahid in a brief chat with the press said: “Though the formal meeting could not be held due to Dr Waqar's absence, the tribunal has given Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif their positive test reports and asked them to appear before the tribunal on Thursday at 9am to record their statements."

"The tribunal has also allowed Shoaib and Asif to have the assistances of their doctors or lawyers to plead their cases," he said. "Dr Waqar could not reach Lahore from Islamabad due to flight delay. He was to land at the Lahore airport at 12.30pm but since the other member Intikhab Alam had some important assignments in the afternoon, I preferred to defer the hearing till Thursday," he said.

The flight from Islamabad, which was to arrive at 8.30am, got delayed and landed in Lahore at 1.20pm.

Both Shoaib and Asif were tested positive for using nandrolone, the incident being only second of its kind since Australian spinner Shane Warne tested positive before the 2003 World Cup.