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Mohd Asif detained in Dubai for alleged drug possession

Last updated on: June 03, 2008 15:33 IST

Pakistan's pace spearhead Mohammad Asif was detained at the Dubai International airport for allegedly carrying contraband drugs in his luggage.

The 25-year-old Asif, who was on his way back to Pakistan after playing in the Indian Premier League, was detained on Sunday and will be produced before a magistrate later on Tuesday.

Already plagued by a series of controversies, the Pakistan Cricket Board sent Nadeem Akram to Dubai to coordinate with Pakistan embassy officials and resolve the issue.

"We are in constant touch with the concerned authorities. Asif has not been arrested but detained by the custom officials. We have sent the substance recovered from his luggage for lab testing," Akram said from Dubai.

It is still not known which illegal drug Asif was carrying in his baggage, but speculation is rife that he could have been in possession of opium or hashish.

"Once the tests are completed we will know what the substance really is, what it contains. But we will handle everything in a transparent manner," Akram said.

A PCB source said former Pakistan player and Director of National Cricket Academy Mudassar Nazar, who is in Dubai, has also been asked to help in the case.

The authorities in Dubai have conducted a blood test on Asif but results have not been divulged yet.

Interestingly, when contacted in Dubai and asked about what substance had been recovered from Asif, Akram said a small quantity of the substance was found from his wallet and it was a medicine prescribed by a local Hakeem for Asif.

"He was carrying this substance in very small quantity in his wallet for the last four or five months and even forgot about it. He is also not sure what it is and it was prescribed to him for treatment of his elbow injury," Akram said.

"We have sent his blood and urine samples for tests and so far we have not got the results," Akram said.

It is the second drug scandal involving Asif, who along with Shoaib Akhtar, tested positive for nandralone, a banned anabolic steroid, before the 2006 Champions Trophy in India.

They were initially banned for two years by a drugs inquiry tribunal but later the ban was lifted on appeal by an appellate tribunal formed by the PCB.

Ironically Asif was picked in the Pakistan squad for the tri-series in Bangladesh this month on Monday.

The PCB, which was earlier scheduled to hold a press conference at 1300 IST rescheduled it for 1700 IST amid indications that if Asif is found

guilty by the Dubai magistrate court he could also be promptly banned by the Board immediately.

Asif, one of Pakistan's most promising pacers, has claimed 51 wickets in 11 Test matches in his career, which has been marred by injury breakdowns. He has 36 wickets to his credit in 31 one-dayers.

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