ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed Comments on Reports of Positive Drug Tests Involving Pakistan Players
“These tests were done at the initiative of the PCB as part of its measures to ensure there are no illegal doping practices in Pakistan cricket,” said Mr Speed.
“The PCB deserves credit for doing these tests on its own initiative. It was not required to do this and could have sent its players to the ICC Champions Trophy and taken its chances as to whether they tested positive or not.
“However, the PCB took it upon itself to test its players out of competition. It is something I gather it has done before and on previous occasions those tests were negative.
“The two players have been suspended and they are on their way back home, the PCB has made an application to the Event Technical Committee for replacements and a decision on that matter is imminent (it has since been made with Yasir Arafat and Abdul Rehman approved as those replacements).
“In July of this year the ICC’s Annual Conference agreed to sign up to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code and during this event random tests will be carried out at six matches with four players tested on each occasion.
“Two medical practitioners will be here in India to conduct the tests and those tests will then be taken to Malaysia, to the same WADA-accredited laboratory where Pakistan’s test samples were sent.
“However, even though the ICC has now signed up to the WADA Code, the ICC Champions Trophy 2006 is not the first event in which we will be conducting drug tests.
“The ICC started doing this in 2002, at the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, and since then we have tested in two more ICC U/19 Cricket World Cups, in Bangladesh (2004) and Sri Lanka (2006), as well as ICC Champions Trophy tournaments in Sri Lanka (2002) and England (2004), and there was a similar doping program in place and in ICC Cricket World Cup in 2003.
“Generally, cricket is regarded as a low risk sport in respect of drugs and doping but that does not mean we do not take the issue seriously. Our signing up to the WADA Code is an illustration of that fact as is the fact that five of our Full Members – Australia, England, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa – already carry out carry out testing themselves with a sixth – the West Indies – set to follow suit soon.
“Cricket takes its place alongside many other sports where we say in relation to doping and illegal substances we take a zero tolerance position. We will continue to take this position.
“If it is found these players have breached the code it is a disappointing day in cricket but other sports have faced the similar problem. But I think we need to know the full story before we make a further comment.
“The PCB’s media release refers to Nandrolone. It is not uncommon in that it has caused problems in other sports in doping. It has been on the ICC list since 2002 and that list has been circulated to the Boards of our Members on several occasions.
“Because these tests were conducted by the PCB, the results will be dealt by the PCB's drug tribunal if the results of those tests are confirmed. A PCB doping tribunal will then conduct a hearing in those circumstances.”