Coach fears outside influence

Bob Woolmer/Shoaib Akhtar

Bob Woolmer thinks Shoaib Akhtar may have been trying to bulk himself up © Getty Images

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has offered a fresh theory as to why Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif failed drugs tests.

Both fast bowlers were found to have excessive amounts of nandrolone in their system, and were sent home from the Champions Trophy on Monday, denying Pakistan the services of two key pacemen.

Woolmer suggested Akhtar and Asif may have bought over-the-counter products designed to help bulk them up, without realising the impact of their use.

“We know what we’ve given to the players,” Woolmer said. “Our doctors, our physiotherapists, are very strict. That’s why it came as a shock to me.

“If anything is happening outside our sphere of influence, then I don’t know about it.

“That’s what will worry me, if something’s happening outside our sphere of influence.

“They might have been taking a build-up powder which we didn’t know about and which you can pick off the shelves which has nandrolone in it, and there are substances like that.

“I don’t know whether they’ve picked them up off the shelves. I don’t have any answers unfortunately.”

The bowlers face an anxious wait before they discover their fate.

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