Saturday, October 11, 2008

Asif's IPL drug case hearing adjourned

The IPL drugs tribunal has adjourned till November its hearing of the Mohammad Asif doping case. Asif appeared before the three-man tribunal, comprising Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Bapat, the former vice-chancellor of India's Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, and lawyer Shirish Gupte, for a preliminary hearing on Saturday.

The IPL had announced in July that Asif had tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone during its first season, held from April 18 to June 1. His B sample also showed traces of the drug but the levels varied between both samples. The second sample had a nandrolone concentration of 5.4 nanograms per millilitre of urine while the first had 6.2 nanograms.

"It was a preliminary hearing," Asif's lawyer Shahid Karim said. "The tribunal has adjourned the hearing to four weeks from now. They are yet to fix a date." Michael Graham, a sports medicine expert, was also aiding Asif with his case.

Gupte said the tribunal heard objections raised by Karim and will begin its probe next month. "The whole day was spent on interim objections raised by Asif's lawyer about the maintainability of the case," Gupte said. "The lawyer argued that the IPL does not have the right to prosecute Asif as there is a separate anti-dope institution to hear such cases.

"So we reserved passing an order on the case. The actual recording of witnesses and other evidence will begin in November."

Asif played eight matches for the Delhi Daredevils in the inaugural edition of the league. He had previously tested positive for nandrolone just before the 2006 Champions Trophy in India. Though he was banned for one year by a PCB tribunal, the punishment was overturned a month later on appeal. He is currently suspended by the PCB till the IPL completes its inquiry. In June this year, Asif had been detained for 19 days at Dubai Airport for possessing an illegal substance. The PCB has completed its investigation into the matter, but a final verdict is pending.

- CricVille -

Sandesh Kumar

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