London - The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday said that it had rejected appeals against spot-fixing bans filed by disgraced former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif.
"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeals filed by the Pakistani cricket players Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt against the decisions taken by the International Cricket Council Tribunal on February 5, 2011," it said in a statement.
The two players had turned to the Swiss-based CAS in a last-ditch attempt to have their bans voided, saying they were desperate to return to the game they love.
The men's case marked the final chapter in one of the biggest cricketing scandals of recent years.
Butt and two of his fast bowlers, Asif and Mohammad Aamer, were all banned by the ICC in 2011 after being found guilty of deliberately contriving no-balls in return for money in the Lord's Test in England the previous year.
Butt received a 10-year ban, five years of which were suspended, and Asif was barred for seven years, with two suspended.
Despite losing the appeal Butt remained hopeful of making a comeback once his ban ends.
"I had 50-50 expectation from the appeal, but now I have to finish the two year and four months ban," he said.
"I have high hopes of resuming my career because I am 28-years-old and our current captain is 39 and the vice-captain is 33," Butt added, referring to Misbah-ul Haq and Mohammad Hafeez respectively.
Butt said the last three years were the most difficult of his life.
"This was the most difficult period," said Butt, who made his debut in 2003.
"I will be 30 by the time the ban is finished. Let's see if the motivation is still there.
"I am trying to keep myself fit and motivated."
In their CAS case, Butt and Asif maintained that at the ages of 28 and 30 respectively, the suspensions were a career-ending punishment and that they should be given another opportunity to play for Pakistan.
The now-defunct British newspaper the News of the World exposed the players in a sting operation involving their agent Mazhar Majeed who struck a deal for £150 000 with an undercover reporter.
All three men were jailed in England in November 2011 over the scandal - which was linked to illegal betting - and were released last year after completing half of their sentences.
Aamer pleaded guilty in court and decided not to appeal the five-year ban imposed by the ICC.
The CAS appeals of Butt and Asif were heard by a three-member panel led by lawyer Graham Mew and accompanied by Romano Subiotto and Robert Reid.
Asif played 23 Tests and 38 one-day internationals and was regarded as one of the best new-ball bowlers in the world.
Butt was made Test captain on the tour of England while Aamer, a teenager at the time of the scandal, was regarded as the fastest emerging bowler in the world.
The high-profile case was just one among a litany of corruption and fixing incidents to tarnish the name of Pakistani cricket.
In 1994 captain Salim Malik was alleged to have offered bribes to Australian players Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh to underperform during matches on the tour.
Malik was subsequently banned for life by a judicial inquiry while Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul Haq, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Mushtaq Ahmed and Akram Raza were fined.
More recently, leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, a 61-Test veteran with 261 wickets to his name, was banned for life for spot-fixing in an English county game.
Earlier this month Pakistan banned two umpires, including an international, after finding them guilty of being willing to spot-fix for money following a sting operation by Indian TV.