Pakistan set up hearing
Pakistan have emphasised that they will give Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif the chance to explain their failed drugs tests.
The Pakistan Cricket Board are formulating an independent tribunal to hear the players’ cases and hope to finalise its make-up on Friday when they meet in Lahore.
PCB doctor Sohail Saleem is scheduled to be among the medical experts gathered at the hearing, which is anticipated to take place next week.
Should the players, who tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone, contest the results of their ‘A’ samples they can appeal to have a ‘B’ sample tested.
In that case, the World Anti-Doping Agency in Malaysia would be required to carry out the process and return the findings before the tribunal reconvenes to make a verdict.
It would do so with more immediacy if either or both players accept the current findings.
“The principles of natural justice must apply and the boys must be given a chance to defend themselves,” said PCB director of cricket operations Salim Altaf.
“We know these two [players’] samples have been found to be positive. There could be various reasons for that and we want to find out what has happened.
“It is up to the tribunal to find that out and make a judgment. It is an independent tribunal and the PCB will adopt whatever that tribunal sees fit.”
Pakistan are one of five Test countries signed up to the WADA protocol but believe their own disciplinary measures will be sufficient.
“This has never happened to us before and there are grey areas for all of us,” added Altaf.
“We need to look at whether WADA can intervene and in what way they can intervene.
“They players were not tested at an international event, they were tested internally, so at the moment we feel we have jurisdiction.”
According to International Cricket Council regulations, a player found guilty of a doping offence faces a ban of a minimum of two years, but since the tests were conducted by the PCB, it is the responsibility of the board to deal with the issue.
However, technically WADA could overrule any suspension length if they felt it was not commensurate with the offence.
Athletes can appeal to the Court of Sports Arbitration in Lausanne but none have been successful in contesting WADA rulings in the past 15 cases.
Coach Bob Woolmer revealed Shoaib and Asif received injections during their rehabilitation from injuries this summer, adding that they were not administered by any of his medical team or anyone within the PCB, to his knowledge.