On 16 October 2006 Akhtar was suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board, along with Mohammed Asif after they tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance nandrolone. They were consequently pulled out from the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy. Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman later stated that he had always suspected Akhtar of substance abuse due to his consistent "reservations" to drug tests. Former Pakistan captain Inzamam ul-Haq had also previously complained about Akhtar's drug abuse but was not reported to the Pakistan Cricket Board. Akhtar immediately declared his innocence and he declined knowingly taking any performance-enhancing drugs. In a statement issued to the press, he claimed that he could never cheat teammates or opponents. During a hearing with the Pakistan Cricket Board Anti-Doping Committee, he along with Asif maintained taking non-steroidal dietary supplements. He, however, failed to convince the committee of his innocence. In its report submitted to the Pakistan Cricket Board, the Anti-Doping Committee recommended a two-year ban.