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I am innocent, says Shoaib Akhtar

"It is a conspiracy to destroy my reputation," controversy-prone fast bowler bemoaned.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2006 11:36 IST

Rocked by one scandal after another, Pakistan's controversy-prone fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Thursday appealed to his fans to back him in his "most testing" period of his cricketing career.

Shoaib, banned for two years for testing positive for a banned substance, was beset with another controversy on Wednesday when a security officer attached to the Pakistan team for Champions Trophy in India claimed he had slapped coach Bob Woolmer.

Worse still, Retd. Colonel Anil Kaul alleged that Shoaib caused a lot of problems for the team and security officials in the team hotel with his errant ways and late night-outs.

"I am innocent. Some action should be taken against this fellow or he should substantiate his allegations. How can he come on television and try to destroy my life," Shoaib said.

"I don't know what is happening. This is clearly the worst period of my life and I just want to get out of it," the 'Rawalpindi Express' bemoaned.

"It is a conspiracy to destroy my reputation. I don't know who is behind this. But I am innocent."

The fast bowler who has had a controversy-ridden career since his debut in 1997, rubbished allegations that he had late night outs and misbehaved in India from where he was called back last month after testing positive for the banned substance.

Shoaib also denied taking performance-enhancing drugs and said he was surprised himself to test positive for nandrolone since he he had only been taking nutrients.

First Published: Nov 09, 2006 20:40 IST