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Pakistani doctors defend Akhtar, Asif

The docs describe their ban for doping as unjust and offer to challenge the punishment in court.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 18:08 IST

Pakistani doctors on Sunday rallied behind fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif describing their bans for doping as unjust, and offering to challenge the punishment in court.

Pakistan Medical Association president Umer Ayub said the nation's cricket officials were merely trying to please the "outside world" by slapping bans on the bowlers after both tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone.

"Pakistan Cricket Board has pleased the outside world and the International Cricket Council (ICC) by banning Akhtar and Asif but justice was not meted out to the two," Ayub said.

A PCB appointed tribunal banned Akhtar for two years and Asif for one year after hearings in recent weeks.

Both were pulled out of the Champions Trophy in India last month and suspended before they faced the tribunal which concluded both failed to prove their innocence.

Both Akhtar and Asif are due to appeal against their punishments on Monday.

The PCB has announced a two-man appeal committee comprising former judge Fakhruddin Ibrahim and former Test cricketer Haseeb Ehsan.

The ICC Thursday lauded PCB's handling of the inquiry and the final decision but the ban has come under severe criticism from former players, the public and the media in Pakistan.

First Published: Nov 06, 2006 14:27 IST