Pakistan 'drugs' duo grounded


Last updated at 23:14 01 March 2007

Controversial Pakistan

pace duo Mohammad

Asif and Shoaib Akhtar

were yesterday pulled

out of the World Cup by

their Board just minutes

before the team left for

the Caribbean.

The official reasons

were an elbow injury

and knee problem

respectively, but the

withdrawals were

clouded in a fug of

suspicion over their recent drugs tests.

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pair tested positive for

nandrolone last year,

only to have their bans

overturned on a

technicality, much to

the disgust of the wider

cricket world.

There were fears that

traces of the drug might

still be found in their

systems and prior to the

squad leaving they

avoided another test.

The pullouts coincide

with strong statements

from the International

Cricket Council about

doping and threats that

random testing will be

stepped up in this year’s


Their absence severely

weakens arguably the

tournament’s most

talented team, despite

decent replacements in

Mohammad Sami and

Yasir Arafat.

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