Pakistan squad clears dope tests

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pakistan's preliminary Champions Trophy squad have come clean after results on the dope test conducted by WADA-accredited officers of the Anti-Doping Organisation of Pakistan on July 19 in Lahore turned out negative.

Twenty-six players in the 30-man squad were tested, while four players including Younis Khan who failed to attend due to other commitments, will be tested at a later date. The samples were sent to a WADA-accredited doping control centre in Penang, Malaysia for verification.

"The tests were conducted on 26 of the 30 players in the preliminary squad for the Champions Trophy and I can say that it's a great relief that all the tests are negative,"

Shafqat Naghmi, the PCB's chief operating officer told AFP.

The PCB, while announcing the squad on July 14, had said that players would be ineligible for selection if they tested positive. The board has taken a strict anti-doping policy after the various scandals to have dogged Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, including the pair testing positive for the banned substance Nandralone before the 2006 Champions Trophy in India. Both were subsequently let off after appealing on a technicality.

While Shoaib has cleared this test, perhaps paving the way for his return to the national squad, Asif is currently suspended by the PCB for testing positive for a banned substance during random dope tests conducted on the sidelines of the IPL, where he played for the Delhi Daredevils.

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