Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where Now for Mohammad Asif?

My weekend trip to Karachi coincided with 3 incidents involving the Pakistan cricket team.

While I was on my way to the airport on Thursday, I got a call from a friend telling me that charges against Mohammad Asif had been dropped and he would be flying back to Pakistan soon.

While at the airport, I got an sms saying that Kamran Akmal had been dropped from Pakistan's list of probables for the Asia Cup.

When I landed in Karachi, I found out that Pakistan's 20 probables for the Asia Cup had also landed there earlier for a 3-day training camp.

All items are news worthy, but I'll start with the intrigue surrounding Mohammad Asif.

Since the release contradictory statements have been flying around from the different parties that were involved with the case.

Gulf News, UAE's leading daily newspaper, was one of the firsts to release the story on Asif's release, and the Public Prosecutor who handled the case had this to say:

"The case has been dropped against Mohammad Asif due to insignificance ...
he will be deported as soon as the police finalise the procedures. It is
definite that he committed the crime of smuggling and possessing 0.24 grams of
opium as he was caught red-handed ... however at certain cases and for a faster
litigation process the Public Prosecution drops a case due to insignificance and
deports the suspect."

What exactly is insignificance? Any lawyers out there who can explain this.

It definitely does not imply towards an an insignficant quantity of the drug as I know that people carrying 0.1g of the substance have been sentenced to 4 years in the past.

Asif was sent back to Pakistan on Friday and on arriving in Lahore he said:

“I have never used any wrong substance or drugs and that is why all my tests
taken by the Dubai authorities were negative... a small quantity of a herbal
medicine was in my wallet about which I was ignorant. I did not use that
medicine”

What bothers me is that he continues to call it herbal medicine when the prosecutors in Dubai have tested the substance and claimed that it was in fact opium.

This is the Chief Prosecutor's statement:

"Dubai Police's forensic laboratory results have confirmed that the
contraband substance that was discovered in Asif's wallet is opium. The suspect
faced charges of smuggling and possessing drugs."

So I guess the hakeem gave Asif some opium, which Asif thought was herbal medicine.

The question here is that, why did Asif require some herbal medicine? PCB Chairman, Dr. Nasim Ashraf answers that question:

“I met Asif today and he told me that the authorities found a small
substance from his wallet, which his herbal expert (hakeem) gave to him as a
pain-killer,”

Now now, a pain killer then.

If I understand WADA's regulations correctly then opium is banned substance because it helps relieve muscle pain, which helps in increasing stamina.

A pain killer relieves muscle pain.

So can the WADA ban Asif now for carrying a banned drug?

If news reports are to be believed then Asif was tested thrice during the Indian Premier League and his tests turned out negative. His tests turned out to be negative again when he was tested in Dubai.

So he can't be banned for consuming a banned substance.

However, there is a WADA regulation that states that smuggling banned drugs is an offence.

That is exactly what Asif did. But he didn't get charged. Can he still be banned given that he did actually smuggle the drug?

The other contradictory statement was regarding Asif's deportation from the UAE.

The Public Prosecutor's statement above clearly states that Asif was deported from Dubai. Deporation means that Asif will never be allowed to enter the UAE again.

All those who get deported get their finger prints and eye-scans taken by the police and airport authorities who make sure that they don't enter the country ever again.

Asif also provided his finger prints and eye-scans.

The report clearly spells out that Asif was deported and can never enter the UAE without special permission from the interior minister.

Over in the Pakistan newspapers, DAWN and The Nation, Nasim Ashraf has been claiming:

"Asif was neither charged by the Dubai authorities nor he was deported.
Instead he was repatriated"

Repatriated means that Asif is not banned from entering the UAE, even though the UAE's newspapers are claiming otherwise.

Whose right?

Knowing what happens to the drug related offenders, I'm quite sure that Asif was deported. Thats what happens to all of them whether they go through the 4 years imprisonment or not.

So why is Nasim Ashraf claiming otherwise? To get a clean slate from WADA?

What next then?

Another one of the PCB's ever famous 3-man committees has been formed and they will grill Asif and prepare a report, which will be submitted to the ICC.

A 2-week timeframe has been given for the report to be completed.

Another report has Nasim Ashraf claiming that Asif would be asked to pay the legal expenses incurred during the case.

Having full faith, or rather a lack of, I can safely say that Asif would be given a free slate with a fine amounting to how much was spent on legal fees, and he would be playing for Pakistan in the next few months.

The PCB will also find a way to keep WADA away from all of this.

Make your pitch on this post...



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16 Pitched:

  1. Jrod said...
     

    A herb is a plant that is valued for qualities such as medicinal properties, flavour, scent, or the like.

    So Opium is technically a herbal medicine.

    But it's like saying I did not have sexual intercourse with that woman while your other hand is on a well placed cigar.

  2. Saqib said...
     

    they need to impose a punishment on him or else he will become shoaib akhtar

    q what are your thoughts on the probables for the asia cup?

  3. Q said...
     

    All that green / brown stuff mixed in cigarettes for a high are herbal medicines Uncle J ;-)

    I like ur example.

  4. Q said...
     

    Saqib, lets hope he doesn't.

    The probables of the Asia Cup were expected. There was news that Kamran would be overlooked. Apart from him, all the regulars are there.

    The 15 man squad will be announced later today and I don't expect any changes from the one that played in the tri-series. Its going to be a 15 man squad so either of Bazid or Naumanullah will be dropped.

  5. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,
    I speculate he will come out clean.

    However, his detention intrigues me.

    Why was he detained?

  6. Wasim said...
     

    Saqib:

    He has matched Shoaib Akhtar in every feat so far, although now I believe he has gone a head in his accomplishments.

    Q

    I think the only thing which went in his favor was that he tested negative three times over a span of few weeks and it kind of gave credence to his story that he forgot he was carrying one dose in his wallet and was not using it.
    Here the key question is ASSIF is an International player why he is still counselting a Hakim for pain killers?
    Either he is hooked on to the drug or small quantities of opium are hard to detect.
    Assif is physically frail, if you look at his pictures closely he has an extermely thin body, he is tall but not strong, his body cannot withstand the pressure of International cricket, since the last two years he has constantly been plagued with injuries.

  7. Wasim said...
     

    Saqib:

    He has matched Shoaib Akhtar in every feat so far, although now I believe he has gone a head in his accomplishments.

    Q

    I think the only thing which went in his favor was that he tested negative three times over a span of few weeks and it kind of gave credence to his story that he forgot he was carrying one dose in his wallet and was not using it.
    Here the key question is ASSIF is an International player why he is still counselting a Hakim for pain killers?
    Either he is hooked on to the drug or small quantities of opium are hard to detect.
    Assif is physically frail, if you look at his pictures closely he has an extermely thin body, he is tall but not strong, his body cannot withstand the pressure of International cricket, since the last two years he has constantly been plagued with injuries.

  8. Wasim said...
     

    Sorry for pressing the publish button twice:)

  9. Trideep said...
     

    Asif should also be punished now. This would otherwise set a wrong precedent in PCB. They have punished Shoaib. Hence according to their 0 tolerance to indiscipline, Asif should also be punished.

  10. Samir Chopra said...
     

    The PCB's three-man committees are the true lifesavers; forget modern medicine. No more bloody hakeems for Asif.

  11. Q said...
     

    Ottayan - here's the story.

    Asif got caught by the Dubai customs. He was kept at the Dubai airport detention centre while the drug and his urine sample went for testing.

    This is normal procedure as first the Airport officials conduct their enquiry and then decide whether to file a police case or not.

    Once the test results came forward the airport officials decided not to file a police case and instead refer Asif's case to the Dubai courts.

    The courts cleared Asif.

    During all of this Asif was detained at the airport detention centre.

  12. Q said...
     

    Well said Sam.

    Trideep and Wasim - I agree, a precedent needs to be set or rather continued.. but I think it will be something very minor.

    Lets see if the PCB can be tough on their "blue eyed boys".

  13. Wasim said...
     

    I have posted a study on my blog showing how long a drug can remain taceable in the urine and blood.

    Guess what? Opium is only detectable untill 72 hours in the urine and 1-4 hous in the blood.

    He can use it and still can get away with it.

  14. Q said...
     

    Thats news to me Wasim. Thanks for sharing the info.

  15. Anonymous said...
     

    what would it take for PCB to ban asif for life? i mean it isn't like that our team is winning everything right now and we are gonna miss him. we have pretty much played without him and shoaib for the best part of last couple of years.
    shoaib's ban had been twisted and appears to be personal. we need another round of bannings to get the point across that when you represent your country, every fucking action counts and it's not a joke that you have spent 19 days in detention in a foreign country.

  16. Q said...
     

    They might just do that anonymous.

    We've playing ODIs - does anyone realise that Pakistan has no test attack left?

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