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March 7, 2019

USE OF BANNED DRUG: Cyclists Shakeel, Waqas in big trouble

Sports

March 7, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s leading cyclists Mohammad Shakeel and Waqas Mehmood tested positive for 19-Norandrosterone — a performance-enhancing drug containing anabolic androgenic steroids — during the National Track Cycling Championship 2018 in Lahore.

Pakistan Cycling Federation Secretary Syed Azhar Ali Shah said that both the cyclists tested positive for the banned drug and it has forced the PCF to start proceedings against them.

“We have received a report from the relevant authority confirming that the two cyclists have tested positive for a banned drug. It is really unfortunate that the two have used the drug despite clear instructions from the national and international bodies. Time and again we remind them of dangerous effects of drugs but to no avail.”

He added that action would be taken against them according to the rules.

“The president of the PCF was out of country and as such there has been some delay in issuing show-cause notices to the two cyclists. Now that he is back necessary action will be taken against them.

“The banned content found in both cyclists’ samples exceeds the banned drug’s normal limit of 15ng/ml.”

Shakeel even received reprimand against his participation in the Asian Games on the recommendations of the non-recognised cycling federation.

“We are about to issue show-cause notices to both. Their respective departments will also be intimated on the development and their version will also be sought accordingly,” Azhar Ali Shah said.

He said a committee would soon be constituted to look into the breach.

“We will follow the proper course as is prescribed by the world body to decide the two cyclists’ fate. Both have exposed themselves to penalties.”

‘The News’ has learnt that both cyclists will be given an opportunity to narrate their side of the story before the committee recommends a ban or fine. They will have the option to ask for a repeat of tests. In case of a positive second test, the two will be up for heavy penalty.

Since it was the second breach by Shakil, who was also found using the drug previously, he could face a life ban. Waqas, on the other hand, might be handed a four-year ban.

“It is up to the committee to decide their fate considering the samples of tests,” said Azhar Ali Shah.

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