KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have secretly tested their dope-tainted pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif only to find out that they are still carrying traces of banned anabolic steroid nandrolone, sources said on Monday.
According to the sources, the PCB have carried out secret dope tests of the two players, who were banned for using nandrolone last year before earning a reprieve from a PCB appeals committee.
The results, according to the sources, have only proved the Board’s worst nightmare true as the players have again tested positive for nandrolone. However, there has been no official confirmation of the dope tests. The PCB have announced that they would carry out dope tests of all the 15 players selected to represent the country in next month’s World Cup in the West Indies.
According to PCB’s Director Operations Saleem Altaf, the tests would be carried out on February 16. The reason behind another round of internal dope tests by the PCB is to avoid any unpleasant surprises during the World Cup.
However, sources said that the Board decided to test Shoaib and Asif before schedule to secretly check whether they are still carrying traces of nandrolone. If selected for the World Cup, Shoaib and Asif would certainly be tested for illegal drugs by the ICC which has already announced introducing ‘target testing’ during the tournament.
The ICC have also supported World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) decision to challenge the lifting of drug bans on Shoaib and Asif by an appeals committee. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is expected to begin hearing the case against the Pakistani bowlers in Switzerland within the next few seeks. According to experts, Shoaib and Asif may get a life ban if they test positive for any illegal substance during the World Cup as it would be their second doping offence.