The BCCI’s long-drawn, bitter opposition to submit itself to anti-doping rules in the country came to an end on Friday with the governing body for cricket in India agreeing to come under the ambit of NADA.
The decision, taken during a meeting of senior BCCI representatives including CEO Rahul Johri and General Manager Saba Karim with ministry officials here, would also now allow the international body to claim complete compliance to the WADA Code.
“BCCI has come under the ambit of NADA. I explained to them that you don’t have the discretion to follow the law or not, it applies to all uniformly. India is governed by the rule of law and everyone is equal before law. They have agreed,” Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya confirmed. NADA Director-General Navin Aggarwal was also present during the meeting.
With this, Indian cricketers would now be governed by the same rules and processes in the upcoming domestic season, as other sportspersons, including collection of samples by NADA officers and will be subject to the same punishments as described in the NADA Code. The most important aspect would be the inclusion of cricketers for Out-of-Competition testing, one of the biggest concerns cited by BCCI fearing privacy issues.
Interestingly, the BCCI had claimed last year that the players had been providing details since the 2017 Champions Trophy to ADAMS, the athlete management database of WADA.
NADA had been formed way back in 2005 and the International Cricket Council (ICC) became a signatory to the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) in 2006. But the BCCI found reasons for not coming under the NADA.
The game’s administrators had openly declared their distrust with reasons ranging from privacy to quality of testing, delays in result management, inefficiency of NADA officials and even a declaration that it was not a recognised National Sports Federation and as such not under the purview of NADA protocols.
All doubts have now been laid to rest, insisted Julaniya. “They had two or three concerns. The first being the quality of dope-testing kit, whether it is WADA accredited kit or not. Second issue was quality of dope control officers, who take samples. We told them we have officers who are competent but if you need officers of higher qualification then you have to pay higher fees and it will not be just for BCCI, but all other federations.
“Thirdly, the concern was about timely adjudication of cases. I explained to them the WADA Charter about the three months window, but if the athlete is not asking for time then we have had cases being disposed off in less than 90 days,” he explained.
The random samples so far were being collected by Sweden-based International Dope Testing Management (IDTM) and submitting them to the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) for testing. Interestingly, the samples now collected by NADA would also, by default, be sent to the same lab unless the BCCI seeks testing at another WADA-accredited lab abroad. “We have raised a few issues which the Secretary said will be addressed. We have agreed to bear the differential cost of high quality testing,” Johri said.
In March, the BCCI had sought to work with NADA on a ‘trial basis’ for six months wherein BCCI chaperons would collect the samples in the presence of NADA-designated DCOs, which the ministry had rejected. Meanwhile, Johri also confirmed that the government had also cleared BCCI’s long-pending South Africa A and women’s series.
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