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Pakistan doping ban U-turn inexplicable

Ramiz Raza believes that the PCB has messed up the whole issue bringing Pak in news for the wrong reasons again.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2006 12:21 IST

Former Pakistan cricket greats on Thursday said that the decision to overturn a doping ban on fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif would be tough to explain to the cricketing world.

"I think for the outside world it becomes an eyewash, the same as I see it. I am happy for the bowlers but it has become a controversial issue," ex-captain and former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Ramiz Raja said.

Akhtar and Asif won their appeals by 2-1 majority on Tuesday. Akhtar had been banned for two years and Asif for one year in November, following their positive tests for the banned steroid nandrolone.

The appeals committee, headed by retired judge Fakhruddin Ibrahim, concluded the players honestly believed that the nutritional supplements they were taking did not contain banned substances.

The PCB said it was satisfied with the decision and any reservations from the International Cricket Council (ICC) or World Anti-Doing Agency (WADA) would not affect the players.

But Raja said there were technical flaws in the whole process.

He said the initial doping tribunal that banned the pair was told to work under WADA and ICC rules but the appeals committee worked under local PCB rules "and found that 'get-away clause' which cleared the two bowlers".

Raja, now a television commentator, blamed the PCB for the whole issue.

"I think they have messed up the whole issue and once again Pakistan is in focus for wrong reasons.

First Published: Dec 07, 2006 12:21 IST