BCCI says thanks, but no thanks to NADA again
New Delhi: The Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI) has made it clear to the sports ministry and National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) that it is an autonomous body affiliated to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and thus cannot allow any other entity to conduct dope tests on its cricketers.
In separate letters written to the ministry and NADA dated November 8, board’s CEO Rahul Johri asserted, “BCCI follows the ICC Code, which is based on the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) Code”.
This was in response to sports ministry’s diktat last month ordering NADA to conduct dope-tests on Indian cricketers as per the principles laid down by WADA during all domestic and international games played in the nation.
The cricket board has asserted that it follows the necessary guidelines and none of its officials are supposed to coordinate with NADA on this. “It is relevant to mention here that BCCI is not a National Sports Federation (NSF). Accordingly, NADA does not have jurisdiction to conduct dope testing of Indian cricketers in any domestic or international event organised or under the aegis of BCCI,” Johri wrote in the letter, adding: “In light of the aforesaid, there is no requirement for any BCCI official to co-ordinate with NADA for dope testing of Indian cricketers either during competitions or out of completions.”
In 2009-10 that there was a misunderstanding between ICC and BCCI regarding antidoping rules. That row was specifically related to the “whereabouts clause”, under which cricketers were to submit details about where they were at any given time.
Even then under the pressure of top cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and others, BCCI refused to accept any such suggestions. ICC officials then rushed to Mumbai headquarters and met BCCI’s top officials and players — Dhoni, Tendulkar among others — to work out a solution.
A way out was reach to by the different parties but it was not made public, but it has been working fine for last seven years or so.
DNA has learnt that ever since 2010 agreement, Indian players have been submitting details of their whereabouts as per the ICC Anti-Doping Code under the WADA charter. That’s why Johri in Nov. 8 letter clarified that NADA need not test Indian cricketers since the board is not a National Sports Federation.
“In light of the aforesaid, there is no requirement for any BCCI official to co-ordinate with NADA for dope testing of Indian cricketers either during competitions or out of completions,” the letter stated.
What’s going on
BCCI anti-doping cell is led by Dr Vece Paes, a former Indian hockey player, and his team works in close co-ordination with the ICC anti-doping department.
One of the jobs of Dr Paes and his team is to file the whereabouts details of all Indian players, irrespective of their seniority. And if BCCI top bosses are to be believed then this has been diligently followed since 2010 agreement. The situation changes during the course of any ICC event where it’s antidoping department takes charge.
BCCI has employed a Swedish agency named International Doping Tests & Management (IDTM) to collect samples during all the domestic or Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.