Karachi: Mired in controversies, Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday gagged disgraced fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif from speaking on the dope scandal.
"We have told them to avoid making any unnecessary statements in the press as their case is subjudice and it will only damage their credibility," Saleem Altaf, Director Cricket Operations said.
Shoaib and Asif were recalled from the ICC Champions Trophy in India after it was revealed that they had tested positive for a banned steroid in internal tests conducted by PCB last month.
Both are to appear before a drug tribunal to plead their case. The minimum ban for a first violation in WADA and International Cricket Council anti-doping rules is two years.
Both players have so far pleaded their innocence to the PCB and said they did not take the banned substance intentionally.
The PCB has already announced former Test skipper Intikhab Alam and a well-known barrister, Shahid Hamid as members of the tribunal but will name a third member, a doctor on Friday.
Sources said the PCB was considering appointing either the medical director of the Pakistan Sports Board or a sports medicine specialist from Karachi.
But Altaf did express doubts that the tribunal would be able to hold its first hearing before the Eid holidays that start from Monday.
"It is a difficult situation for us because the holidays start after the weekend. But we definitely want to have the hearing as soon as possible and have the tribunal deliver its recommendations."
Altaf said the players had the right to ask for a test on their B sample and also have lawyers for the hearings.
"The tribunal can allow them to have their B samples tested for reconfirmation of the earlier reports," Altaf said.
But he said the board had set no deadlines for the tribunal to complete its work as it was an internal inquiry and did not involve the ICC or WADA.
Live Score, News & WC 2019 Updates