Another suspension: Is ICC discriminating Pakistani players?
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2015-12-29 08:34:42

Another suspension: Is ICC discriminating Pakistani players?



The Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah has been provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council after testing positive for a banned diuretic during the one-day series with England in the United Arab Emirates last month. Shah, currently ranked No3 in the ICC Test bowling rankings, provided a sample to testers on 13 November, after the second one-day international in Abu Dhabi. It was found to contain chlortalidone, a potential masking agent listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances. Diuretics can be used to hide the presence of other performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids. The 29-year-old Pakistani will now go through an ICC disciplinary process and faces the possibility of a two-year ban from all competitions if found guilty. Shah can request for his B sample to be checked, and if that test does not confirm a positive result then the suspension would be lifted with immediate effect. He also has the right to request a hearing before an anti-doping tribunal. There are differing reports doing the rounds of how Yasir landed in trouble. There are reports that he took his wife’s blood pressure pills during the recent series against England and after realising that this could land him in trouble if a doping test is conducted, consumed a diuretic (masking agent) in a bid to ‘cover’ this mistake. Another account doing the rounds is that the leg-spinner was given anabolic steroids to speed up his recovery from the back injury he suffered in October. Whatever the eventual findings, if the board’s medical panel and team physiotherapist is found responsible for this negligence, they must certainly be taken to task. Similarly, if the leg-spinner indeed consumed a blood pressure-stabilising pill without informing the medical staff, then he must be held accountable. In either case, Yasir is likely to be banned for at least a year since the consumption of a diuretic, without seeking a waiver from the ICC or informing relevant officials, is a huge blunder.

Yasir’s loss will be a massive setback for Pakistan cricket. Over the past two decades, it seems that the country’s leading bowlers have developed a tendency to lose their way after achieving great success. Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Zahid, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Mohammad Hafeez and now Yasir have all failed to make full use of their talent and skill due to a variety of reasons. In the days ahead, the PCB needs to come up with a strategy that could help limit Yasir’s ban to as small a duration as possible. This will become difficult though if the offending pill turns out to be a steroid rather than a ‘harmless blood pressure-stabilising medication’. What is also important is for the PCB to review its programme of educating cricketers regarding the harm that consuming banned substances can cause. This is not the first time Pakistani cricketers have suffered on this count and the board needs to evaluate its own weaknesses too in this regard.

Categories:   Pakistan ، Sport ،
Tags:   pakistan ، PCB ، Yasir Shah ، ICC ،
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