Lab suspension: BCCI writes to NADA

The BCCI seeks to know about the “chain of custody” of urine samples to be collected by NADA in the next six months.

Rahul Johri wrote a letter to Navin Agarwal, the NADA DG.   -  V. Raju

The BCCI has written a letter to the National Anti-Doping Agency, seeking to know about the “chain of custody” of urine samples to be collected by the agency at domestic cricket tourneys in the next six months.

The accreditation of the National Dope Testing Laboratory has been suspended for six months by the World Anti-Doping Agency owing to non-conformities with the International Standard of Laboratories (ISL), as identified during a site visit. The suspension is a setback to India’s anti-doping efforts with less than a year left for the Olympic Games.

In a letter addressed to Navin Agarwal, the NADA DG, Rahul Johri, the BCCI CEO, wrote: “We request you to kindly let us know how this suspension will affect samples collected by NADA at BCCI domestic cricket tournaments. Since NDTL is unable to test the samples of all cricketers, what is the way forward to ensure a strict chain of custody and timely analysis of all samples?”

For long, the BCCI had resisted coming under the ambit of NADA, even though its samples collected by the International Dope Tests & Management (IDTM) of Sweden was tested at the NDTL.

Read | NDTL losing accreditation, a setback for NADA

Johri’s letter came after sports secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya told reporters that the agency had met its initial target of collecting 3,000 sample for the year. This cast doubts about how many samples the agency will collect during BCCI’s domestic season.

NADA can get the samples tested at an overseas WADA-accredited laboratory. Bangkok seems a feasible cost-effective option at the moment.

On its Facebook page, the NADA had earlier issued a press release, stating that it would start collecting urine samples during the ongoing Duleep Trophy. The DCOs have not arrived for the first two Duleep Trophy matches and it remains to be seen whether they come for the rest of the tournament.

BCCI’s domestic tourneys will continue till March.