Ashraf defends PCB drugs ruling

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The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Nasim Ashraf, said yesterday that his board had not influenced an appeals committee to lift the doping bans on the fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif last week.

"I swear to God that we did not have any wrong intentions," Ashraf said.

A PCB doping tribunal last month banned Shoaib for two years and Asif for one after both tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone - a decision reversed by the PCB's appeals committee.

"The PCB carried out the tests in a transparent manner," Ashraf said. "PCB rules applied to whatever were the results [of the tests]," he said. "If this had happened in any other country that country's rules would have applied on it."

The World Anti-Doping Agency last week expressed reservations over the decision to drop the bans, with the WADA chairman, Dick Pound, criticising the practice of "a national federation telling the international federation what rules it is going to apply [on doping]."

Nasim maintained that the matter was purely under the PCB's jurisdiction. "The matter is over. It's Pakistan's internal matter," he said.