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Pakistan duo free of drugs

Shoaib and Asif pass Pakistan doping test

By Phil Jackson.   Last Updated: 05/08/07 11:51am

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Shoaib: In high spirits

Shoaib: In high spirits

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Pakistani duo Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif have passed drugs tests, which could pave the way for their inclusion in the country's Twenty20 World Championship squad.

The new ball partners both tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in internal tests carried out before the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy.

Both received from bans the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) before the suspensions were controversially overturned on appeal.

Zero tolerance

The PCB have been keen to emphasise their zero tolerance policy on drugs since, and communications director Ahsan Malik has confirmed the duo returned negative samples in the latest tests.

"Shoaib and Asif are among 26 players who have cleared tests by the World Anti-Doping (WADA) accredited laboratory in Malaysia," Malik said.

Pakistan are expected to announce their squad for the September tournament in the coming days.

Both players missed this year's World Cup in the Caribbean through injury, but could now be in line for a recall for the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship.

Geoff Lawson's side begin their campaign against Scotland on September 12, before taking on arch rivals India two days later.

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