Another doping case has been resolved on a ‘technical’ ground. Shoaib Akhtar and Asif Mohammad were let off with the enquiry tribunal not finding any intentional use of banned substances. The authorities were blamed for the players were not properly warned or advised about the WADA stipulations. Can the ignorance of the law be held as an excuse for breaking it?
In a curious coincidence, the President of Pakistan predicted that Pakistan would win the cricket World Cup in 2007. So is there anyway that the exoneration of the two bowlers came at the behest of instructions from the top? The ICC and the WADA can actually allow Pakistan to field drug tainted players on the back of the ‘war against terrorism’ argument.
Only a couple of days ago, Dick Pound expressed his unhappiness over the way in which Cricket Australia imposed a one-year ban on Shane Warne following a diuretic use during the World Cup of 2003. It seems Pakistan is ready with the justification for the let-off given to Shoaib and Asif.
Now what is Bob Woolmer going to do? It was widely reported that the drug tests were carried out in the first place at the insistence of the coach. Moreover, there were reports about a fight between Shoaib and Woolmer. In case, the PCB decides to include Shoaib in the team, things could take an interesting turn with the fast bowler not having cordial relations with the captain, Inzamam.
What is Imran Khan going to say? The former captain of Pakistan was all in favour of the firm action taken by the PCB. But with the bans revoked, what does Khan now have up his sleeve?
It is time that the whole anti-doping policy be revamped with most of the offenders escaping.