Doping code breach: ICC suspends Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah

Published: December 27, 2015



Merely days before the announcement of the ODI and T20I squads for the tour of New Zealand, Pakistan cricket has been rocked by another major scandal. Prolific leg-spinner Yasir Shah — who has 76 wickets in 12 Tests — has been charged with an anti-doping rule violation under the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Doping Code.

“The sample Yasir provided in an in-competition test, which was conducted on 13 November 2015, was found to contain the presence of chlortalidone, a prohibited substance which appears in Section 5 of the WADA Prohibited List [in the category of Specified Substances],” said an ICC press release. “In accordance with the ICC Anti-Doping Code, pending the outcome of the disciplinary process, Yasir has been provisionally suspended.”

Yasir becomes second best In Test ranking

The 29 year-old was part of the team that lost the second ODI to England on the day of his doping test conducted at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Earlier in the series, Yasir suffered a back injury on the eve of the first Test at the same ground and was forced to sit out. However, he made an appearance in the second and third Tests, snaring the man of the series award as Pakistan won both matches he played in to claim the series 2-0.

Speculation is rife that Yasir took a steroid to speed up recovery from the back injury and was subsequently advised to use chlortalidone as a masking agent. However a PCB official claimed that Yasir took a pill to settle his blood pressure without consulting the team doctor.

Meanwhile, the official added that the PCB was awaiting details of Yasir’s offence from the ICC and will contemplate their next move once all the details are made available.

Raza Hasan banned for failing drugs test

Yasir faces at least a two-year ban if the offence is validated, leaving experts to believe that the board needs to carefully examine their reply in the days ahead.

The ICC media release added that the matter will be dealt with in accordance with the process set down in the code which is expected to be completed in the next 10-14 days.

PCB’s medical panel responsible for the mess: Niaz

Former PCB media manager and medical counsel of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif during their doping offence in 2006, Dr Noman Niaz, believes the PCB needs to investigate its medical panel’s slackness over the doping breach.

“It beggars belief that a player can use a non-performance enhancing, non-recreational drug without taking the medical panel into confidence,” Niaz told The Express Tribune. “If the panel and support staff were oblivious of the medical or therapeutic use, then again it is their failing. It is tough to understand how training and diet regimes for Yasir were designed without taking his high blood pressure and medical history into account.”

Niaz also questioned the medical panel’s expertise with masking agents and diuretics, adding that Yasir might have actually been given an anabolic steroid to help recover from the back injury followed by the banned diuretic.

“I am also amazed to know that the medical panel didn’t inform the ICC or WADA, or sought a waiver or prior permission before treating Yasir.”

‘Use of masking agent can prolong Yasir’s punishment’

The ICC has clamped down hard on doping offences in recent times. Sri Lankan wicketkeeper batsman Kusal Perera faces a four-year ban for a doping code violation. A legal expert told The Express Tribune that Yasir can also be suspended for a significant period since he used a banned substance followed by a masking agent.

“It seems that Yasir, or the doctor who advised him, was well aware of the consequences hence a masking agent was taken too,” he said. “I fear a lengthy ban for him, unless the PCB can somehow prove his innocence.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan T20I captain Shahid Afridi expressed his sadness at Yasir’s suspension and said that the leg-spinner is an asset to the country. “I hope to see Yasir out there in the field again,” said the fellow leg-spinner.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (47)

  • asad rizvi
    Dec 27, 2015 - 2:46PM

    Extremely painful, I think it is now imperative that ICC should provide clearance to use medicine or should have a prescribed list of medicines.

    While, BCCP should wake up and rise above all politics, as all such matter is of national interest. Enough is enough, as we have become a laughing stock in all Cricket playing nation. Recommend

  • Arslan
    Dec 27, 2015 - 2:56PM


  • Econ
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:01PM

    Indian Cricket CouncilRecommend

  • Uzair
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:02PM

    yar is tra kre apni hi pasand ki koi team bna k pakistan ko dede…jis se ICC herwana chahe un se hare or jis se ap jetwana chahe os se jeete…Recommend

  • Ansari
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:03PM

    It had to be done. Yasir Shah was a bad news for India in ICC T20. ICC is India’s puppy.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:10PM

    What took them so long? By the way it was on the card after his performances. Thank you again Indian cricket council.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:14PM

    I knew it. I knew something was wrong. He always looked too happy for a leg spinner. This explains everything.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:16PM

    Incoming “blame BCCI” comments.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:23PM

    All those people blaming BCCI, grow up. Your players have an incorrect action and your players take drugs and you’re blaming BCCI which has nothing to do with Pakistan players whatsoever. How is Yasir Shah taking drugs BCCI’s fault. Did BCCI shove it down his throat befoe the testing? Grow up and stop blaming India for all of your failures.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:26PM

    They shot them down………we just keep producing more.Recommend

  • Irfan_Sydney
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:36PM

    Both ICC and BCCI are against us. They must know that there is nothing wrong in biting the cricket ball to remove the shine. They also must know that chucking laws must not apply on Pakistani bowlers. Also taking mild drugs every now and then should not put a career of a Pakistani bowler in jeopardy. They just hate us because we belong to a great nation .
    Leave us alone. . . Recommend

  • Saad
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:37PM

    Effect of Modi’s visit to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Zaida Parvez
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:38PM

    Is there an honest person left in Pakistan?Recommend

  • Kuldeep
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:38PM

    Don’t want to get banned…..don’t take drugs……must be really hard for yasir’s peanut sized brain to understand Recommend

  • Prada
    Dec 27, 2015 - 3:41PM

    @asad rizvi:
    Every single player is given a list of common medicines that will return a positive result in the WADA dope test. Recommend

  • Srilankan Cricket Fan
    Dec 27, 2015 - 4:10PM

    What is wrong with Pakistanis??? Why do you guys keep blaming India for your cricketers wrong doings instead of shaming Yasir Shah for bringing disrepute to Pakistan…By blaming India, what you guys are actually doing is allowing a wrong doing to not be pointed out and using red herring to hide your faults under conspiracy theories… Definitely not a right attitude in your country’s interest…By this attitude, I won’t be surprised if you call me an Indian Agent!!!Recommend

  • citizen26
    Dec 27, 2015 - 4:13PM

    Did yaair really took any banned substance should be the question here? We all know who rules ICCRecommend

  • Israr
    Dec 27, 2015 - 4:44PM

    Shane Warne was also banned for one year by ICC because of diuretic use. Yasir Shah seems to be following his mentor in more ways than one. Is he any good at poker like Warne?Recommend

  • Omar Sadiq
    Dec 27, 2015 - 4:57PM

    Of course, this was bound to happen sooner than later! With the T20 World cup to be held in Endia, who will produce turning tracks for their spin duo, the Endian’s did not want any other quality spinner to threaten them and with Pakistan being in the same group with them, they had to do to Yasir, what they did with Ajmal…….get them banned!
    Cheers to the Endian’s and their policy of “buying” the World Cups in their backyard, courtesy of IPL, where players loyalties are bought against their countries and bullying, bowling actions, substances, cricket board conflicts, etc etc.Recommend

  • Anuj
    Dec 27, 2015 - 5:30PM

    The irony is that every mis happening in PAK cricket is to be blamed on BCCI and yet they beg BCCI for series.Recommend

  • Raghavan
    Dec 27, 2015 - 5:43PM

    Now I am expect miandad to come and blame India Recommend

  • usman
    Dec 27, 2015 - 5:54PM

    Simply add drug in blood sample and declare according to instructions. And just before world cup. Puppet ICCRecommend

  • Nasir
    Dec 27, 2015 - 6:04PM

    Let’s not blame the Indians or the ICC – just remember that our cricketers have taken drugs in the past and been arrested by UAE authorities in the past . Also we had to rely on the British to prosecute our captain and bowlers for bowling no balls because we were in self denial – even when our own cricketers lied to the nation time and time again we blamed others and came up with conspiracy theories – let’s grow up and put the blame on the individuals that break the law Recommend

  • Irfan_Sydney
    Dec 27, 2015 - 6:56PM

    I must admit this time ICC has got it wrong. I found this decision biased. I am a sports physician. Yasir’s urine sample contained presence of chlorthalidone. Chlorthalidone is used by athletes for rapid weight loss. It is only banned in the sports where weight of the athlete plays a significant role. Games such as weight lifting, boxing where athletes are categorized according to their weights , this drug is banned. Cricket has no category of players according to the their weight. Any ban due to the presence of such evidence must be challenged.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 27, 2015 - 7:02PM

    This is complete failure of inept and corrupt PCB officials. They are more interested in having meetings with bookies and criminals than looking after their precious but ignorant and stupid super stars. Recommend

  • Ih
    Dec 27, 2015 - 7:22PM

    Extremely unfortunate . Substance abuse easy to get in,but very hard to treat .Recommend

  • Angry Aussie
    Dec 27, 2015 - 7:23PM

    Is there ANYONE left in Pakistan who does not lie, cheat, steal? What’s wrong with you people? Why are all the world’s cheats and crooks originating from Pakistan? Can you at least not cheat in sports ? Just don’t play if you’re scared to lose but at least stop trying to cheat all the time. Shame on you.Recommend

  • asad rizvi
    Dec 27, 2015 - 7:33PM

    @prada :

    According to USADA athlete guide, WADA guide list is not intended to be comprehensive in scope and hence, should be read in conjunction with the Prohibited List, suggesting athlete is solely responsible for the substances in his or her body.

    This is what I am referring that our players needs proper guidance. Unlike India, Pakistan is totally a different case and has to struggle against a very strong lobby always looking for reason to degrade the country.

    If ICC was fair India, it would have asked India to pay the price for refusing to play Pakistan. Your worry is that despite all odds, Pakistan continues to perform and was moving towards top ranking in Test. So this was the best weapon to halt the rise. Do not worry we have enough talent to bounce back.

    Pakistan Zindabad Recommend

  • someone
    Dec 27, 2015 - 8:08PM

    Chuckers, dopers, fixers. There , your Pakistani team.Recommend

  • Varun
    Dec 27, 2015 - 9:25PM

    How is Yasir Shah bad news for India? Check out 2015 world cup’s India vs Pakistan scorecard will you. Check out Yasir Shah’s performance. If anything I believe he must’ve purposefully doped himself out to avoid playing India. Recommend

  • Varun
    Dec 27, 2015 - 10:02PM

    @Omar Sadiq:
    Please go and check the scorecard for India vs Pakistan 2015 world cup. Check Yasir’s bowling figures. If anything Yasir did it to himself to get out of bowling to India, especially in our own backyard.Recommend

  • Zen
    Dec 27, 2015 - 10:12PM

    Poor Pakistanis. Not only countries but also ICC are plunging to become India’s puppets. Recommend

  • Varun
    Dec 27, 2015 - 10:15PM

    @asad rizvi:
    The series against Pakistan was only signed as an MoU which is not a binding contract whatsoever. No court in the world can hold that against India. However if you still think that you had been hard done by then by all means Shahryar Khan is completely entitled to sue BCCI.

    If we wanted to halt your rise we would/could have completely banned Pakistan from playing altogether. Why just the Indian series? Stop playing the victim all the time. Stop believing what your media is telling you. If PCB is losing money then why isn’t Shahryar suing BCCI?

    And talent without dedication and hard work is useless. Pakistan has talent but it is unfortunately debilitated by internal politics? Hafeez, Azhar boycotting training sessions. Sarfaraz not being able to play for a long time because of nepotism (preference of Punjabi players). Players disagreeing with coaches. Or is it all because of BCCI?Recommend

  • SNKN
    Dec 27, 2015 - 11:20PM

    Shame on Yasir if he has taken this banned substance with knowledge… And a bigger shame on India, the nouveau riche, who keeps using its new found confidence thru its age old evil Machiavellian ways…. Recommend

  • Kiran Alij
    Dec 27, 2015 - 11:52PM

    @Angry Aussie:

    Lying and cheating is in our culture. That is why we elect likes of Zardaris and Sharifs. Why do you think the Pakistani passport is the most unwelcome passport in the world?Recommend

  • Sane non Australian
    Dec 28, 2015 - 2:46AM

    @Angry Aussie:
    What about Mark Waugh and your your nation pride Shane Warne? The later was being part of all negative news in cricket, fixing, doping, racial slurs etc. Look into your own home yard before pointing to a nationRecommend

  • Ijaz (Indian)
    Dec 28, 2015 - 3:03AM

    @Omar Sadiq:
    Your spot-fixing trio was also framed by BCCI? Grow up. Pakis have this penchant for conspiracy theories.Recommend

  • SID
    Dec 28, 2015 - 9:19AM

    I’m interested in what Hafeez and Azhar Ali have to say about this.Recommend

  • Omar Sadiq
    Dec 28, 2015 - 9:24AM

    @Ijaz (Indian): When at fault, I am not one to shy away from admitting it BUT when ICC becomes a stooge of the BCCI, then why don’t you also admit its faults and the conspiracies created by this BCCI/ICC?
    This BCCI/ICC honeymoon will indeed last for a decade or so but when reality comes crashing in, then its going to be you & likewise folks, who will be blaming the other boards that BCCI is not controlling cricket anymore……waiting for your’ll to say “conspiracy theories” then. Recommend

  • Seeker
    Dec 28, 2015 - 5:04PM

    Wow, amazed at head-in-sand attitude of some Pakistani Cricket fans. Why blame India all the time? Blame India for Aamir spot fixing too!! Pakistan is still an incompetent, failing, beggar nation because Pakistanis refuse to accept problems. Unless you acknowledge a problem, you cant fix it.Recommend

  • Pakhtun
    Dec 28, 2015 - 6:24PM

    @Ijaz (Indian):

    And your match fixers in IPL were forgiven by BCCI. Thats because corruption is in the core of IndiaRecommend

  • Dec 31, 2015 - 12:32PM

    Right before a major world tournament, another Pakistani bowler gets banned. Hasn’t it become a routine? Team management needs to find out how the banned substance went inside Yasir’s body? He could not chuck as a leg spinner, could he?Recommend

  • Jan 6, 2016 - 12:12PM

    Nowadays it has become so stupid the way things have gone. I do not even say to a lady “you look nice in your dress” or any words that boarder on beauty of a woman, because they can get you for sexual harassment. We have become stupid indeed. So I just look and say nothing because of fear that I mighty find myself in court.
    I miss the 80s and the 90s.Recommend

  • Feb 22, 2016 - 7:23PM

    Yasir has been the pillar for Pakistan’s knocking down some pins line-up in Test matches since his introduction in October 2014.

    The 29-year-old has 76 Test scalps in 12 Tests for his nation and holds the record for being the speediest Pakistani bowler to achieve the 50-wicket mark.Recommend

  • Feb 22, 2016 - 7:37PM

    Quick bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were banned for a long time and one year individually after both were discovered blameworthy of utilizing the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone. Both were pardoned by a tribunal on the grounds that the tests were directed out of rivalry.Recommend

  • Feb 25, 2016 - 5:32PM

    Pakistan How is Yasir Shah awful news for India? Look at 2015 world glass’ India versus Pakistan scorecard will you. Look at Yasir Shah’s execution. On the off chance that anything I trust he must’ve deliberately doped himself out to abstain from playing India.Recommend

  • Feb 29, 2016 - 3:33PM

    Quick bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif Nowadays it has become so stupid the way things have goneRecommend

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