Sports ministry surprised by WADA's suspension of NDTL, to appeal ban

Claiming that India was suffering because it did not have representation on the WADA Board sports secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya reiterated that India was fully compliant to anti-doping rules.

The WADA decision also stated that if NDTL satisfies its LabEG, it may apply for reinstatement before six months. (Representative Image)   -  GETTY IMAGES

After the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) suspended the accreditation of India’s National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) for six months, Union sports secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya, on Friday, denied the charges.

“This decision is based on their inspection in Sept 2018 and comes at a time when all compliances have been done. They had pointed out 47 action points, out of which on 43 they have accepted the NDTL’s compliance satisfactory. On the remaining four, work is near completion. The question is, have they taken into account the fresh developments during the last visit,” Julaniya told Sportstar.

Claiming that India was suffering because it did not have representation on the WADA Board – something the government plans to rectify with Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju filing his nomination for the same – Julaniya reiterated that India was fully compliant to anti-doping rules.

READ: WADA suspends India’s National Dope Testing Laboratory

“We were supposed to do 3000 tests (in a calendar year) and we have already done so. But now we will have to send samples out of India. The cost of testing here is less than 25 percent compared to other labs. The government would not want to incur irrational costs and so we will reduce the number of samples sent for testing,” he explained.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on WADA

"There were some issues in the past. After taking over as sports minister, I have taken cognizance of those issues and a course correction has been initiated. It is disheartening that despite these efforts, WADA has taken this stance. We will appeal against this ban and the process of appeal is already underway."

 

The WADA decision also stated that if NDTL satisfies its LabEG, it may apply for reinstatement before six months but in case it doesn’t, the suspension may be extended for six more months.

Asked about the way forward, Julaniya said the government was keeping its options open. “When we protested against the decision and defended our position, they started asking for voluminous paperwork of all things done in the past. It has to be prepared in a certain format which normally takes 3-4 months but we will try to do it all in two weeks.

“Then we can tell them to send their team for inspection. If we can do that and get the team to visit us early, we will follow that route. But if we feel that appealing would be the shorter route, we will try that. We will take a decision in two weeks,” Julaniya said.

Batra Blames NADA

IOA president Narinder Batra, however, put the blame on NADA for mismanagement. “My only concern now is who will bear the extra cost? ” Batra questioned.

But Julaniya said Batra was confusing NADA with NDTL, which are both separate entities and the former had no “shortcomings or lacuna, it is an effective body”.

NADA Director General Navin Aggarwal too distanced himself from the decision. “NADA has nothing to do with this. The testing or sample collecting process will not be affected in any way. The only thing is we will now have to send samples outside to other labs but there are courier services all over the world.

"Only the expense may go up but we will work it out with the NSFs and all stakeholders on how to manage that,” Aggarwal said.