BCCI's dope test proposal in NADA’s court, says Dr. Salvi

BCCI anti-doping manager Dr. Abhijeet Salvi said that all domestic cricketers — seniors, juniors and women — would come under the testing plan once NADA agrees to the board's proposal.

Prithvi Shaw, who is serving an eight-month ban for failing a dope test, in action for Mumbai at the Ranji Trophy 2017-18 season.   -  FILE PHOTO/ K. MURALI KUMAR

While the Union Sports Ministry has been pushing the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to become National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) compliant and thus, direct its domestic cricketers to report for dope tests to the NADA-nominated Doping Control Officers (DCO), the board is actually awaiting a response to the proposal it has sent to NADA.

”The ball is in NADA’s court,” said Dr. Abhijeet Salvi, BCCI’s anti-doping manager.

A few months ago, the BCCI conveyed to NADA that it can have a trial run for six months from the start of the 2019-20 season (October) provided (1) NADA nominates International Doping Tests and Management (IDTM )-certified DCOs (2) the tests are done in the presence of BCCI anti-doping managers and (3) the plan is decided by the BCCI.

The BCCI has been using the Sweden-based IDTM — an out of competition and in competition anti-doping service provider — for a number of years to test players in the IPL and senior domestic tournaments. The samples are then sent to the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), recognised by NADA.

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The IDTM has over 500 DCOs located in hundred countries.

The BCCI kept the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) abreast of its plans to come under the NADA umbrella. “We have sent our proposal to NADA, but have not received any response. All domestic cricketers — seniors, juniors and women — would come under the testing plan once NADA agrees to our proposal. The BCCI will choose the matches where the IDTM-certified DCOs can conduct the doping tests. India’s international cricketers come under the ICC,” said Dr. Salvi.

After it’s quarterly meeting in March, the ICC issued a statement saying: “The ICC Board were updated on WADA’s concerns in relation to the domestic anti-doping programme in India. The board unanimously acknowledged its desire to remain WADA compliant and committed to working in partnership with the BCCI, WADA and the India NADA to resolve the outstanding issues as a matter of urgency.”

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The BCCI for a long time been reluctant to become NADA compliant. The BCCI administrators believe that NADA doesn’t have a good dope reporting and management record and point out the way it handled wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s case before the Rio Olympics. “It fast-tracked his case and cleared him to take part in the Olympics. It’s decision was overturned by the Court of Arbitration after WADA appealed against the NADA decision,” said a BCCI official.

With regard to Prithvi Shaw’s eight month ban, Dr. Salvi said: “The BCCI followed the WADA procedure. There is a provision for backdating the ban period. We have sent all documents to WADA and the ICC. Both can appeal to the CAS.”