Pakistani pacer Mohammed Asif’s IPL hearing concludes without decision

Embattled Pakistani pacer Mohammed Asif on Saturday confessed for the first time before the Indian Premier League tribunal committee that he had taken performance enhancing drug nandrolone during his stint with the Delhi Daredevils, according to sources.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will also conduct an internal hearing when Asif returns to Pakistan.

The Indian Premier League’s Drug Tribunal completed the hearing process but reserved their final verdict on dope-tainted Pakistani cricketer Mohammed Asif. The three-member panel comprising former cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar, ex-Vice Chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences Dr Ravi Bapat and leading legal expert Shirish Gupte heard testimony from a host of witnesses and also heard Asif’s lawyer Shahid Karim’s representation.

The Tribunal has reserved its verdict in the interim and would now meet again soon to take a final decision in the matter. “No decision has been taken on him and the tribunal will meet again,” Gupte, who chaired the meeting, told waiting reporters after the hearing which was held at the Cricket Board’s headquarters.

IPL commissioner Lalit Modi also confirmed that the hearing was over and tribunal would decide on Asif’s fate later.

“It is upto the tribunal to decide on the matter now. The hearing is over,” he said. The final verdict by the Tribunal would be announced shortly, a media release said. International Cricket Council representatives were also present in the hearing.

Asif, who represented Delhi Daredevils in the IPL’s inaugural edition last year, had tested positive for banned performance-enhancing drug nandrolone. His ‘B’ sample tested in Switzerland had also returned positive for the banned substance.

Recently Asif parted ways with IPL team Delhi Daredevils with whom he had signed a three year contract. As just days before the hearing, the Daredevils released him from the team following a request by the pacer. The IPL strictly adheres to the ICC Player Code of Conduct in letter and in spirit.

“Due to my personal reasons I’m having to take this step, and definitely it has not been easy requesting for this as I still have a contract valid for another two seasons, with lucrative financial benefits,” Asif had said in a statement without elaborating on whether the contract could be revived in future.

The Asif saga unfolded since it emerged that the Pakistani pace was tested positive for intake of a banned substance. On July 14 2008, the Indian Premier League confirmed that Mohammad Asif had failed a dope test. Following the announcement the pace bowler requested for a B sample Test.

On the same day the PCB suspended Asif from all forms of the game. More bad news awaited the dope tainted pacer after his B sample tested posited. The IPL then set October 11 as the date for Asif’s hearing after a request from the pacer. The first hearing of the IPL drugs tribunal was then adjourned till November 29. But Following the Mumbai Terror Attacks the hearing was postponed for January 24.

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