Mohammad Asif, the Pakistan fast bowler, has told the IPL drugs tribunal that the presence of nandrolone in his dope test was the result of using eye drops - which contains the banned substance - to treat an inflamed eye. Asif's hearing took place today in Mumbai but the tribunal deferred a decision for later.
"The hearing is over but no decision has been taken," IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said. "The tribunal will meet again to decide." The tribunal comprised Sunil Gavaskar, Dr Ravi Bapat and Shirish Gupte, a lawyer, while Asif was represented by his lawyer Shahid Karim and medical expert Michael Graham. Asif arrived for the hearing amid tight security arranged to counter threats by local political parties with anti-Pakistan sentiments to disrupt proceedings.
Graham said it was the eye-drop Keratyl that caused Asif to test positive for nandrolone. "Basically Asif has pleaded to taking an eye-drop Keratyl for a painful inflamed eye and unfortunately he did not know that it contained nandrolone," Graham said. "I can say with authority that the drops elevated his nandrolone level marginally and he played cricket with that painful eye. Consequently he failed a dope test in the IPL and was suspended by the Pakistan board. It was a genuine mistake.
"Asif has apologised to the IPL he did not know an eye-drop could have brought shame to him, his country and the IPL."
Asif tested positive for nandrolone during the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008 and his B sample , which was tested in Switzerland, also returned positive though there was a difference in both the readings. Earlier this week, Asif was released by his franchise, the Delhi Daredevils, following a request by the fast bowler on personal grounds.