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    December 06, 2006

    High farce in Pakistan

    Yesterday, an 'Anti-Doping Appeals Committee' constitued (sic) by the Pakistan Cricket Board, ruled that Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif were not guilty of committing doping offences (timeline) since the administration never did anything to warn them against taking supplements.

    Almost exactly a month ago, Shoaib and Asif had been banned for two years and one year respectively by the Pakistan Cricket Board's Anti-Doping Commission. On October 16th, Shoaib and Asif were sent home from the ICC Champions Trophy in India by the PCB after failing a PCB-organized pre-tournament doping test.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has not yet reacted to the judgement and are currently awaiting the ostrich's reaction to the decision. (Update: The ostrich has reacted.)

    I find this decision highly farcical. Sportspersons who're caught in doping scandals almost always resort to the 'No-one told me about this' stand. Given that the PCB, and the ICC, are signatories to the WADA code, a generic application of the 'exceptional circumstances' clause could invite a further appeal from WADA.

    This decision by the PCB's commission comes only a few days after Dick Pound, chairman of WADA, blasted Cricket Australia's 1-year ban on Shane Warne after he tested positive for using a diuretic before the 2003 World Cup, in his book with the shortest title ever, 'Inside Dope: How Drugs Are the Biggest Threat to Sports, Why You Should Care, and What Can Be Done About Them'.

    The second farce that happened in Pakistan cricket was the news that Inzamam will return to international cricket tomorrow after the first ODI against West Indies was washed out without even the toss having taken place.

    The ICC decided, quite stupidly in my opinion, in 2004 that a game was deemed to have started as long a the toss had taken place. So, in the light of there not having been a toss at Rawalpindi, that game doesn't count as a recorded one-day international.

    Hence Inzamam should actually be sitting out for one more game to ensure that he completes his ban period of four one-day internationals.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 5:17 PM |
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    5 sledge(s):

    Doping cases are made for strict liability. WADA applies strict liability, and as far as I know they can appeal to CAS - which turns it into a copy of most allegations of doping, a big mess.

    By Blogger Geoff (06-Dec-2006, 6:14:00 PM)  

    geoff: Yes. WADA do have the right to appeal to the CAS. But does the ICC have to be a party to the appeal too? Can the CAS/WADA take the ICC to task?

    By Blogger Jagadish (06-Dec-2006, 7:08:00 PM)  

    I'd assume that WADA would have to wait until the ICC made a decision on what action, if any, they were taking. Conceivably, Shoaib could have retired before this is over.

    By Blogger Geoff (06-Dec-2006, 7:15:00 PM)  

    Madness, complete madness. If any one's figured out how they tolerate Shoaib Akhtar now, please forward me your suggestions.

    Though just as a technical point, I thought the whole argument the 2nd committee had was that the PCB was not yet a signatory to ICC/WADA AntiDoping code, but yet merely in the 'process of signing up'...

    Even then, its completely ridiculous that one committee hands them a 2 and 1 year ban and another completely acquits them of any wrong doing, you'd understand if they punishment merited out was reduced to some extent, say the ban was shortened for Shoaib from 2 to 1 years, and for Asif from 1 year to six months, but this...complete madness as I said. Even if they're letting them go on ignorance, which shouldn't be a good enough excuse, they should have in the very very least handed out massive fan and a slap on the wrist! But no...we just had to prove once again that PCB's levels madness need not be underestimated.

    By Anonymous Zainub (08-Dec-2006, 2:41:00 AM)  

    zainub: Good to see you're still around online! Perhaps the PCB is not a signatory to WADA. But it then becomes a play on words. The ICC is WADA compliant, but only for ICC events (ICC Champions Trophy & World Cup). The PCB found Shoaib and Asif guilty of doping in a pre-tournament test, which may not come under what the ICC has "signed up" with WADA for. Then why did the first committee ban them? I'm sure the issue of whether the PCB's internal testing needed to conform to WADA's needs was discussed first time around!

    By Blogger Jagadish (08-Dec-2006, 7:36:00 PM)  

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