Pace­men’s bans may be en­forced — of­fi­cial

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

THE World Anti-Dop­ing Agency may be able to re­in­force the ban against dop­ing-tainted Pak­istani pace­men Shoaib Akhtar and Mo­ham­mad As i f , t h e coun­try’s anti-dop­ing tri­bunal chief ac­knowl­edged yes­ter­day.

‘‘Ac­cord­ing to the WADA code they can ap­ply for pro­vi­sional sus­pen­sion,’’ bar­ris­ter Shahid Hamid told AFP, quash­ing sug­ges­tions the play­ers were now in the clear.

Hamid headed the three­mem­ber Pak­istan Cricket Board (PCB) tri­bunal which last month banned Akhtar for two years and Asif for one year, af­ter the new-ball pair tested pos­i­tive for the banned steroid nan­drolone.

Both bans were over­turned by a com­mit­tee headed by a re­tired high court judge ear­lier this month, which ruled the pair had not been fully ed­u­cated about dop­ing mat­ters.

As a re­sult, the PCB in­sisted the dop­ing case was closed and that any ac­tion by WADA or the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) would not stop the pace­men from play­ing. Akhtar and Asif were in­cluded in their pre­lim­i­nary squad for next month’s tour of South Africa.

How­ever, Hamid said Pak­istan was obliged to fol­low WADA rules.

‘‘It is a fact that Pak­istan Gov­ern­ment signed the Copen­hagen dec­la­ra­tion in 2003, like other 186 gov­ernm e n t s , i n c l u d i n g 3 8 coun­tries in Asia,’’ he said.

‘‘Pak­istan Gov­ern­ment has paid to WADA the an­nual and sub­scrip­tion fee for the years 2006 and 2007.

‘‘This dec­la­ra­tion, through cul­ture and sports minis- tries, binds us to fol­low the WADA codes and un­der clause 13 of their codes, the WADA has the right of ap­peal against the de­ci­sion of a na­tional anti-dop­ing com­mis­sion whether it is done dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion or out of com­pe­ti­tion.’’

WADA last weekchal­lenged the lift­ing of the bans in the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion f o r S p o r t s ( C A S ) i n Lau­sanne, Switzer­land, say­ing any over­turn­ing was against its code, a stance backed by the ICC.

CAS was ex­pected to hear the case in the new year.

Hamid also dis­agreed that Akhtar’s de­ci­sion not to sign a con­tract with the PCB could give him any lee­way.

‘‘Akhtar has not signed the latest con­tract, but he has signed an iden­ti­cal con­tract be­fore and that con­tract in its pro­vi­sion is iden­ti­cal and un­der clause 3 of the con­tract he was bound not only by the PCB but by the ICC anti-dop­ing poli­cies as well,’’ he added.

Hamid, how­ever, re­fused to com­ment on the de­ci­sion to ex­on­er­ate the play­ers.

‘‘It is now for the CAS to de­cide,’’ he said.

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