Shahid Karim, the lawyer representing Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif in the IPL doping hearings, will focus on several discrepancies in the procedure followed by the IPL in conducting dope tests to defend his client. The IPL drugs tribunal conducted a preliminary hearing in Mumbai on Saturday but adjourned the hearing to November, after Karim addressed his objections to them.
"There were certain things on which the IPL had gone wrong so the entire day was consumed in this in the hearing," Karim told PTI. "We scored a few points and made it known to the tribunal that there were serious discrepancies that had crept in."
The IPL announced in July that Asif, who played for the Delhi Daredevils, had tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone during its first season earlier this year. His B sample was also positive but the level was different to the first sample. The second sample had a nandrolone concentration of 5.4 nanograms per millilitre of urine while the first had 6.2 nanograms.
Based on these facts, Karim was confident his client will be given the benefit of the doubt. "I am very hopeful that he will come clear," Karim said. "He will come out clean because we have serious objections to this entire procedure which I can't disclose fully for various reasons now."
At the hearing Karim argued that due to these discrepancies, Asif should be cleared on technical grounds. "If that is not done, then we have been told to present our evidence, medical experts and also the other side on the next date of hearing so that the entire proceedings of the inquiry can be wound up probably at the next hearing in November."
Asif was earlier banned for one year by a Pakistan Cricket Board tribunal after testing positive for nandrolone during the 2006 Champions Trophy. The punishment was overturned a month later on appeal. He is currently suspended by the PCB till the IPL completes its inquiry.
Also, in June this year, Asif was detained for 19 days at Dubai airport for possessing an illegal substance. The PCB has completed its investigation into the matter, but a final verdict is pending. He was accompanied at the last hearing by Karim and sports medicine expert Dr Michael Graham.