MX23RW : Wednesday, October 28 19:15:32| >> :600:1078607:1078607:

On this day in 2006: Pakistan duo caught up in doping scandal

On this day in 2006: Pakistan duo caught up in doping scandal
© Reuters
Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were withdrawn from the 2006 Champions Trophy after the results.

A rare doping scandal rocked cricket on this day in 2006 when it emerged Pakistan pace bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif had tested positive for nandrolone in the build-up to the Champions Trophy.

Cricket at the time was considered a 'low risk' sport for performance enhancing drugs, with the International Cricket Council having only recently signed up to the WADA code and just five Test playing nations conducting their own testing regimes.

At the insistence of the late Bob Woolmer, then head coach, Pakistan was one of them and the process yielded a pair of shocking results.

Mohammad Asif would later find himself embroiled in a spot-fixing scandal.
Mohammad Asif would later find himself embroiled in a spot-fixing scandal (Sean Dempsey/PA)

For Shoaib, the fastest bowler in the world, it was the latest but not last in a series of incidents which marred an otherwise exceptional on-field career. Asif, meanwhile, would end up better remembered for his role in the spot-fixing 'no-ball' drama of 2010.

The positive tests came during a turbulent time for Pakistan that had seen them forfeit that summer's Oval Test against England, having refused to take the field following a ball-tampering penalty.

"It's a bit like being in a hurricane, I imagine," said Woolmer.

"We thought we were already in the eye of the storm then this happens. My feeling is simply that cricket is greater than all this and this is just part and parcel of what happens with people in life."

Both players protested their innocence of deliberate doping, saying that had instead taken dietary supplements, but were handed bans of two years (Shoaib) and one year (Asif).

They were later acquitted on appeal – a verdict challenged by WADA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport but ultimately dropped over a lack of jurisdiction over an internal Pakistan Cricket Board matter.

Nonetheless, the duo were omitted from the subsequent 2007 World Cup squad on the day of departure for the tournament in the West Indies.

ID:418530:cQx
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
England's Moeen Ali pictured in action on September 1, 2020
Read Next:
England's Moeen Ali vows to ignore external criticism after return to form
>
Latest Sports Video

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!