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Asif to appeal against doping ban

Asif and Shoaib will miss next year's World Cup in West Indies if their appeals are unsuccessful.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2006 18:34 IST

Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Asif is to appeal against the one-year ban handed down by a Pakistan Cricket Board doping tribunal.

Both Asif and fellow new ball bowler Shoaib Akhtar tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in out-of-competition tests. Akhtar received a two-year ban and his personal doctor has indicated he too planned to appeal.

Asif said the whole episode had left him "shattered".

"I was the first player to give the tests. I had no idea I would test positive. I will contest the ban and hopefully the board will review it," he told Reuters on Friday.

Both players will miss next year's World Cup in the West Indies if their appeals are unsuccessful.

Asif, who has played just six tests, told the tribunal he had taken some medication for an elbow injury that forced him to return early from England in June.

"But I even stopped taking a vitamin supplement as soon as the team doctor told me to," he added.

In its ruling, the tribunal said it had given the 23-year-old Asif a lighter sentence due to his age and that, unlike Akhtar, he had no prior knowledge of banned substances.

"I can't live with the thought I would not be playing in the World Cup. I am bowling at my best and I am upset this thing should happen to me at this stage of my career," Asif said.

Asif hails from a small village in Sheikhupura, an area that has also produced pacers such as Aaqib Javed and Rana Naved.

"It is the most difficult time of my career. But I am innocent. I never took any drug to enhance my performance," he insisted.

A PCB official said the next course of action if appeals were made by Akhtar and Asif had yet to be determined.

"The appeals in all probability will go to a higher tribunal. But we will consult with the International Cricket Council and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on the appeals process," said the official, who declined to be identified.

"Obviously we are going to miss Shoaib and Asif in the World Cup and even in series before that. But we have a policy on doping and we are clear on that. We have no regrets," he stated.