A dope cloud hangs over Pakistan No. 1 squash player and 2016 South Asian Games men’s singles champion Nasir Iqbal after he found himself in an unfamiliar situation where one of his samples tested positive. Another test done shortly afterwards, however, turned out to be negative, which has given the World No. 35 a ray of hope, as reported by Daily Times.
The 21-year-old, who defeated his compatriot Farhan Zaman in the singles final, was asked by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to hand over his sample on February 7 on completion of the squash event. While the one submitted to the WADA tested positive, another one that he gave for an independent evaluation three days later, has turned out to be negative. The independent body works as an affiliate of WADA and their test result has boosted Iqbal’s confidence to challenge the outcome of the first sample.
“As things stand right now, Iqbal’s A sample has tested positive but everyone is hopeful that his B sample would come out clean,” an official close to the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has said.
There is optimism in the squash fraternity as Iqbal is considered to be a very hard-working player with a squeaky clean image.
“Iqbal comes across as a very hardworking individual and we doubt that he could indulge in such wrong practices,” the official added.
Former Pakistani national coach Jamshed Gul corroborated his statement on the young ace and said: “I’ve worked with Iqbal and from my past experience I can safely say that he would not involve himself in such activities.”
Nasir Iqbal had recently established himself as one of the brightest stars from the upcoming generation and he captured three PSA titles in 2015. He also finished as runner-up in the Pakistan Nationals last December, losing to Zaman in five gruelling games.