Asif, PCB blamed for doping scandal

Published July 16, 2008

KARACHI, July 15: Former Pakistan cricket greats on Tuesday lashed out at Mohammad Asif for failing another dope test, saying the paceman and the sport’s authorities should share the blame for another tragedy.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) on Monday announced that Asif had tested positive for a banned substance during random testing at the Twenty20 event held between April and June.

The announcement came a month after the 25-year-old was seized at the Dubai airport on charges of possession of opium and less than two years after another doping scandal.

“I blame both –— Asif and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB),” said former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas. “Asif is a hugely talented player but seems so ignorant that he kept an illegal drug in his pocket,” he added, referring to Asif’s detention in the Gulf.

Zaheer added that when Asif tested positive in 2006 at the Champions Trophy in India, the PCB should have given him counselling.

“The PCB should have properly educated Asif and it seems that a good talent is spoiled now. I see a dark future for Asif who himself was not serious about his game,” Zaheer expressed.

Another former captain, Ramiz Raja, said the doping scandal has put Pakistan in a bad light.

“It is a very unfortunate situation and Pakistan cricket is in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Asif should not have been that careless and the PCB should have nipped the evil in the bud when it happened in 2006,” said Ramiz.

“The 2006 doping case was so politicised that the PCB could not tackle it properly and we now have to digest another tragedy.”

Ramiz stated that Asif was a spoiled talent. “I thought Asif was repairable and had his first offence been tackled with an iron hand, this latest episode would not have happened.”—AFP

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