The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday made it clear that it would show no mercy to any Pakistani player if found guilty of failing a dope test during the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL).
"I can assure you that if it turns out to be a Pakistani player, we will take all possible actions listed in our anti-doping policy and the player will not be shown any leniency," the Chief Operating Officer of PCB, Shafqat Naghmi, said in Karachi.
Naghmi's statement came a day after the IPL and ICC officials confirmed that a player has failed a dope test conducted during the highly successful first season of the league.
Later, media reports said that the player is a fast bowler from South Asia with fingers pointing towards embattled pacer Mohammad Asif, who played for Delhi Daredevils.
The needle of suspicion pointed towards Asif because of his dubious past. In 2006, he tested positive for nandrolone and last month, while returning home after playing in IPL, he had to spend 19 days in detention in Dubai airport for alleged possession of a banned substance.
Naghmi said if he recalled correctly eight players were tested during the IPL and one of them was Asif alongwith Daredevils team-mate Gautam Gambhir.
"I think Gautam Gambhir was the other and I can't recall the other names but I believe eight players were tested," he said.
He said so far the PCB had not been officially informed about the tests as it was an internal matter of the IPL and Indian Cricket Board.
"These tests were conducted by the IPL and not PCB. So, obviously we can't comment on them unless we are told something officially," he stated.
Naghmi informed the PCB had not conducted any tests on Pakistani players who took part in the cash-rich league before their departure for the tournament.
"But we do so (conduct tests) regularly before international commitments and we did conduct tests before the Asia Cup also. But Asif was not among them as he was not selected in the Pakistan squad," he said.
Interestingly, when Asif returned home from his 19-days ordeal in Dubai, he had told reporters that he had never used any banned substance and came out clean at the two tests conducted on him during the IPL.
Since morning local television channels have been focusing on Asif as the possible player who could have tested positive in the IPL dope tests.
One channel, "Express" even claimed that he was the player but PCB officials said they had no reports on this as yet.