Islamabad:Fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, who tested positive for steroids last year, have passed doping tests for Pakistan's squad for the Twenty20 World Cup, the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Saturday.
Spokesman Ahsan Malik said the PCB had received the results of urine tests from a World Anti Doping Agency-accredited laboratory in Malaysia for 26 likely players in the cup squad, and all had been clear including Akhtar and Asif.
Four other players - bowlers Yasir Arafat and Danish Kaneria, batsman Younis Khan and wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider - would undergo tests later because they are currently busy playing in the English County Championship, Malik said.
Last year, Akhtar and Asif were pulled out of the Champions Trophy in India after both tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone during the board's internal dope testing.
Asif was banned for one year, while Akhtar was handed more severe punishment of a two-year ban by the board's tribunal, but the bans were overturned by an appellate committee.
WADA tried to reinstate the bans, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled last month it did not have jurisdiction to rule on the case. The ruling prompted WADA to urge the International Cricket Council to ensure all members adopt its codes to prevent another case of overturned doping punishments.
Both fast bowlers skipped the World Cup in the West Indies this year due to injuries. Asif made a comeback to international cricket during Pakistan's three-match limited-overs series against Sri Lanka at Abu Dhabi in May.
Akhtar's comeback was put on hold after both one-day internationals against Scotland and India were washed out in Scotland last month.
Pakistan is due to announce its squad next week for the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa next month.