LAHORE // The banned fast bowler Mohammad Asif has asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to help him resume his international career. "Asif has written a letter to the (PCB) chairman and wants the cricket board to co-operate with him so that he could start playing international cricket," the PCB's new chief pperating officer Salim Altaf said. The PCB banned the right-arm fast bowler from playing international and national cricket after he tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in May.
Asif has appealed to the IPL's drug tribunal. "We will see what legal support we could give him in clearing his name," Altaf said. "At the moment his suspension stays." Asif's lawyer Shahid Karim said that the tribunal, which adjourned after hearing Asif's appeal last month in Mumbai, has not yet given a new date. Both the 'A' and 'B' samples tested positive at a laboratory accredited to the World Anti-Doping Agency, but with a different concentration of nandrolone in each sample.
Asif had not applied for a therapeutic use exemption for the drug. The three-member drug tribunal is made up of the former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar, Dr Ravi Bapat and lawyer Shirish Gupte. In June, on his way home from playing in the IPL, Asif was detained for 19 days in Dubai after authorities allegedly found a substance containing opium in his wallet at the international airport. Asif was released without being charged for any offence.
In 2006, Asif and fellow Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar were pulled out of the Champions Trophy after both tested positive for nandrolone during the PCB's internal testing. *AP