Thursday September 29, 2022

Pakistan wrestler faces four-year ban

September 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: As the B sample test of wrestler Ali Asad also returned with a positive report, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) have vowed to make the case an example for the rest of athletes in order to discourage the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

“His B sample has also returned positive, meaning now Ali, a bronze medalist at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, will have to face an inquiry and ultimately a four-year-ban from all local and international events,” a source privy to all tests confirmed to The News. “Ali was tested twice -- once before departing for the Games and then during the competition in Birmingham. On both occasions, he tested positive. His B sample also turned positive, meaning he has been declared positive on three different occasions,” the source said.

When Director General PSB Col (rtd) Asif Zaman was approached, he said that it was unfortunate that a wrestler who won a medal for the country tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. “We had some information earlier and that was why we withheld his medal winning cheque. Despite our best efforts, some of the athletes were found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs which is unfortunate. We held seminars and told these athlhetes about the dangers involved.

“Ali ad a bright future ahead of him. Unfortunately, he was unable to realise his responsibilities,” the DG said.

“An inquiry into this matter has been ordered. The coach of the wrestler and federation officials will be summoned to narrate the reason which led to a positive case. Despite our repeated reminders on the serious consequences of performance enhancing drugs, nothing has been done,” he said.

Chairman Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) Aqil Shah said that the wrestler in question has been suspended and inquiry has been ordered to ascertain what went wrong. “We have taken a very strong exception to the fact that wrestler Ali Asad was found to be involved in doping. He is presently suspended. We will endorse and follow all the decisions taken by WADA and the Birmingham Games organizing Committee. We will also follow the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) findings or the decision it takes in this direction.”

Talking to 'The News', Aqil said he wanted to ban the wrestler for life.

“But we cannot do that as there are set rules to be followed. He will be given the punishment under the WADA rules or as directed by the Games organising body,” he added.

Ali was brilliant during his bronze medal fight as he gripped his opponent by his legs and rolled him out of the mat to gain 10 points. The final score read 11-0 and Ali got his hands on a bronze medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

When 'The News' talked to Ali the other day, he claimed that he had never used any performance-enhancing substance knowingly.

“It is nothing less than a shock for me. I have never used any performance-enhancing drugs in my life,” he claimed.