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Monday, October 16, 2006

A new trouble for Pakistan Cricket: Nandrolone

Somehow this ICC Champions Trophy is not a very auspicious tournament for Cricket. This is in addition to the fact that it is not the right tournament anyways. Where is the point in having a tournament like this six months before the World Cup? The format this year (of the main phase of the tournament) is exactly the format of the earlier World Cups( 1975 & 1979, 83 and 87 were different in only that there were two matches now between each team in the pools).

Well, lets not meander away from the point - and the point is a substance called Nandrolone, which is now rocking Pakistan Cricket. This latest trouble for Pakistan Cricket might also mark the arrival of the drug-menace in the world of cricket. No, I am not discounting Warne's popping of the pill his mummy gave him, but Warne being Warne, and the fact that it was an isolated case made it a little less dangerous. What's making me more than a little uneasy about Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif is 1) the fact that 2 guys have been caught together, both for the same banned anabolic steroid called nandrolone, and both are Pakistan's new ball bowlers, and 2) they are from Pakistan and the fact that the tests were carried out, not by a neutral body like WADA but by Pakistan internally, and that Pakistan has on its own recalled them from the Champions Trophy.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has acted in the most appreciable manner and its efforts needs to be lauded. The recall of Akhtar and Asif means that Pakistan will suddenly need 2 new guys to open their attack in their match against Lanka tomorrow.

Nandrolone, the substance consumption that Akhtar and Asif have been found guilty of is not new to the world of sports. Linford Christie, Merlene Ottey, Dougie Walker and many other illustrious sportsmen have been banned after having been caught for Nandrolone-abuse. And this makes it all the more dangerous for Cricket.

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