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Asif's fate hinges on urine test outcome

Pakistan's ambassador to the UAE Ahsan Ullah Khan says the pacer's chances of returning home depends on the outcome of his urine test.Tough laws
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Dubai
UPDATED ON JUN 04, 2008 07:24 PM IST

The fate of Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif, detained in Dubai four days ago for allegedly carrying contraband drugs, remained uncertain on Wednesday with authorities awaiting the result of his urine sample.

Pakistan's ambassador to the UAE Ahsan Ullah Khan said that the beleaguered pacer continues to remain in the Dubai airport detention centre and his chances of returning home hinges on the outcome of the urine test he had undergone after being detained.

"I am an optimist and always hopeful," the diplomat said, when asked about the chances of an early release of the Pakistani pacer.

Meanwhile, with Dubai going through a period of mourning following a death in the royal family there, the Pakistan Cricket Board is afraid that the detained pacer's release might get further delayed.

"As far as we know there has been no fresh development in this case. And because there is a period of mourning in Dubai because of the death of a royal family member, his possible release could be delayed," PCB chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi said.

"Until the reports come, nothing is moving forward. The situation at the moment remains he is not charged but is under investigation by the Dubai authorities," Naghmi said.

"It might take some more time for this matter to be resolved," he added.

Asif has been in the Dubai airport detention centre since Sunday morning when he reached there for a 15-hour transit stay while returning from Mumbai on his way home.

Authorities at the Dubai airport detained him after finding the pacer in a drunken state and also found some recreational drugs in his possession.

Immediate blood tests confirmed Asif was intoxicated and the pacer was detained.

A journalist who visited the detention centre said Asif was now starting to feel the strain of the detention and also the ramifications of his actions.

Meanwhile, another senior board official rubbished media reports claiming PCB had sought the help of the government and political figures to seek assistance from the royal family in Dubai.

"It is a high profile case and will be investigated as per their law. If the substance is contraband or banned Asif is in trouble," he said.

Meanwhile, Ahsan Ullah Khan dismissed media reports quoting the Pakistan's ambassador to the UAE as saying that charges against Asif had been dropped and the pacer was set to fly home.

The Pakistani diplomat insisted since no charges were framed against the cricketer, there was no question of dropping them either.

According to Dubai customs officials, Asif was caught with 0.24gm of an illegal substance in his wallet on Sunday and the substance was also sent for laboratory tests.

Pakistan Cricket Board subsequently rushed senior official Nadeem Akram to Dubai and hired a leading legal firm, Afridi and Angel, to bail out the beleaguered pacer.

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