Did Shoaib take drug by mistake?

Mumbai: “Shoaib Akhtar may have taken drugs accidentally,” his doctor, Tauseef Razzaq, told this paper from Lahore. “I have been treating him for the last five years and he is like my son, he never hides anything from me and has not taken this drug deliberately”, he said.

“After surgery in Australia this February, Shoaib had a stress fracture and a hakim in Pakistan is likely to have given him the nandrolone drug in herbal medicines,” he added.

Dr Razzaq has worked with the Pakistani team for several years. “Shoaib is at the peak of his career and will not take such a drastic step. He had also undergone doping tests thrice (at the ICC knockout championship, and before and after the 2003 World Cups) and had never positive.”

Akhtar and Asif face hard times

Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif are long gone, but tremors of the dope scandal continue to shake Jaipur. It may not be a related development, but the International Cricket Council has introduced testing at the 2006 Champions Trophy for which two testers from Wada, the World Anti Doping Agency, have been flown in to conduct random tests during the tournament.

In all, the testers will pick six matches, at which they will pick two players from either side to provide samples. This is of course, not the first time the ICC has had dope control tests, with the measure being implemented at three Under-19 World Cups and a couple of other tournaments as well.

Meanwhile, speculation continues around the fate of Shoaib and Asif. Going by the precedent set by the Australian Cricket Board in the Shane Warne affair ahead of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa when he tested positive for a diuretic and was handed a one-year ban, the Pakistan Cricket Board could go the same route.

Being a Wada signatory, Pakistan could otherwise follow the recommendations of the agency, which would mean a two-year ban for a first-time offence. Either way, it is a severe dent for Shoaib, who is already 31.


vamsee said…
It is well known fact that many medicines that are used as curative to several diseases do contain steriods, that mitigate the pain and provide the relief. There is also a probability that drugs may have been taken without the prior knowledge. However, though he feigned ignorance, there is every possibility that he had taken it knowingly.In this world of cricketing lime light every player is remembered and often commented on his latest performance. How ever, these things may be lead to distratous consequences that may further aggravate the whole thing.
Henceforth, stern action should be initiated against those found guilty and such instances deserve the harshest possible sentences based on the amount of innocence.

Vamshee Bhaskar vardhaman
Software Engineer

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