Dope menace to haunt Akhtar, Asif in Asia Cup
Karachi: Controversial Pakistani pace duo of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif will be under the spotlight in the Asia Cup starting tomorrow in Sri Lanka after the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has decided to conduct random dope tests during the four-nation tournament.
The ACC has already intimidated all the cricket boards of the participating nations about the dope tests to be carried out during or at the end of a match.
"The ACC has told us that the dope tests are in line with the new strict anti-doping measures being enforced by the International Cricket Council (ICC)," a PCB official said.
He admitted that before going to Sri Lanka, the PCB had not conducted dope tests of the players as is the usual practice before any multi-tournament.
Sources said the board was worried about Akhtar and Asif as both the pacers have a history of doping offences.
The pair was banned for a few months for testing positive during doping tests conducted by the PCB before the 2006 Champions Trophy. They were later cleared on technical grounds by an anti-doping tribunal.
Asif again found himself in trouble in mid 2008 after he was detained at the Dubai airport for possession of a banned substance while returning from India and later served a 12-month ban for the offence.
"These two (Akhtar and Asif) will certainly be picked up for the random tests given their past records," one source said.
"We have already received the intimation according to which strict dope tests measures would be in place during the event," the source added.
According to the tournament rules, two players from each side would be picked up for random tests at the end of every match in the Asia Cup.