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'I was dropped because of injury'

The Pakistan Cricket Board says Shoaib Akhtar had fitness problems but speculations have persisted that he had failed private dope tests in London.

cricket Updated: Apr 17, 2007 22:35 IST

Controversial Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar insisted he was dropped from Pakistan's World Cup team due to injury and not because he had flunked a private dope test in London.

Shoaib and his new ball partner Mohammad Asif were ruled out of the World Cup on the day the Pakistan squad was due to fly to the West Indies for the tournament.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said they had fitness problems but speculations have persisted that both had failed private dope tests for which they had gone to London.

Shoaib, however, vehemently denied the allegations. "I was dropped from the team because of my injury. We underwent no private dope tests," Shoaib insisted.

Both Shoaib and Asif had tested positive for Nandrolone last year in October, which saw them being sent back from the ICC Champions Trophy in India.

Initially they were banned by a drugs inquiry tribunal for two and one years respectively, but an appellate committee later upheld their appeals against the bans.

Both were subsequently picked for the World Cup despite doubts over their clearing dope tests as traces of nandrolone remains in an athletes body for upto six months.

Speculations were rife again that both were dropped after failing the private dope tests as the International Cricket Council had made it clear they would be tested as soon as they landed in the Caribbean.

Shoaib, who is training under Mudassar Nazar, the chief coach at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, said that he had given himself four months to recover from a knee injury.