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I never took drugs: Asif

Mohammad Asif stuck to his guns, insisting that he was not caught with any contraband drugs by the authorities.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Karachi
UPDATED ON JUN 21, 2008 03:31 AM IST

Back home after 19 days of detention in Dubai, Pakistan pace spearhead Mohammad Asif stuck to his guns, insisting that he was not caught with any contraband drugs by the authorities there.

The pacer claimed he was innocent which is why he was eventually released. “I never took any drugs or banned substances. I have never used drugs in my life and I challenge anyone to prove I took drugs. If I had taken any drugs I would have tested positive during laboratory tests in Dubai and also when I gave a random test during the Indian Premier League,” he said in Lahore after returning from Dubai via Karachi.

He also rubbished reports that drugs were recovered from his possession in Dubai. “It was no drug, just a substance given to me by a local Hakeem (physician).”

Asif, who is due to meet Pakistan cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Nasim Ashraf, thanked the PCB Chairman for securing his release.

“They (Dubai authorities) kept me well but it was detention after all. I am thankful to the PCB Chairman and officials that they didn’t abandon me and kept on supporting me and fighting my case,” he said.

PCB panel to look into case

MEANWHILE, ASHRAF told reporters in Lahore that after meeting Asif he would appoint a three-member fact finding committee to look into the case documents which would be released by Dubai authorities. It would be the senior PCB officials, Zakir Khan, Director of Cricket Operations; Shafqat Naghmi, Chief Operating Officer and Nadeem Akram, Director of Human Resources.

“We will have our own inquiry and first determine what really happened. If he is guilty of any offence he will face severe penalties. But let us get to the facts,” Ashraf said.

He said an internal inquiry would be held but he was happy to see Asif back.

Asif also denied misbehaving with airport authorities prior to his detention. “All such reports are fabricated and I will be taking up this issue with the people who gave this story. I never even spoke to any journalist during my detention,” he said.

Asif said two persons had approached him in Dubai posing as securitymen and said they wanted details of why he was being detained. “But I never told them I was drunk or misbehaved, yet next day this story was carried in the media.”

Hakeem to be quizzed

THE PCB, meanwhile, has decided to “get to the bottom of the truth” in Asif’s Dubai detention by quizzing the Hakeem, whom the pacer blamed for giving him the banned drug as a “medicine”.

“He (Asif) told me that he had never taken drugs or banned substance in his life and no drugs were recovered from him in Dubai airport. We will even call that Hakeem for questioning to get to the bottom of the truth,” Ashraf said after meeting Asif.

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