BCCI finally says 'yes' to NADA tests
New Delhi: Ending years of defiance, the BCCI on Friday agreed to come under the ambit of the National Anti-Doping Agency, the landmark decision opening up the possibility of the behemoth becoming a sports federation (NSF) as per government norms.
Sports Secretary Radheshyam Jhulaniya, who along with NADA DG Navin Agarwal met BCCI CEO Rahul Johri along with the Board's GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim here on Friday, said that the Board has given in writing that it would adhere to the anti-doping policy of NADA.
"All cricketers will now be tested by NADA," Jhulaniya said. The implication of this development is expected to be massive as BCCI now becomes a designated National Sports Federation (NSF) and will face more pressure to come under the government's Right To Information (RTI) Act.
"The BCCI raised three issues before us about the quality of the dope testing kits, competence of pathologists and sample collection. We assured them that whatever facilities they want, we will provide but there will be some charge for it. But that higher facility will be equal for all NSFs. BCCI is no different from others. They have to follow the law of the land," Jhulaniya said.
"The BCCI will agree to the law of the land," said Johri, adding, "We have raised quite a few issues which the sports Secretary said will be addressed by them. We have agreed to bear the differential cost of high quality testing."
The BCCI had been vehemently opposed to signing up with NADA, calling itself an autonomous body, and not a National Sports Federation which relies on government funding.
"We are still not National Sports Federation. We have no intentions of becoming one as we are autonomous and won't apply for it," Johri claimed. The rule towards becoming a National Sports Federation requires a sporting body to receive a certain amount of grant from the government. The Board's primary concern was the contentious 'Whereabouts Clause' with regards to Out of Competition Testing, something that all star India players have been wary of as they considered it an invasion of their privacy.
The 'Whereabouts Clause' requires every athlete on Registered Testing Pool (RTP) to fill up a declaration form wherein he/she would have to mention three specific dates in a year when they are not competing but are available for NADA's Dope Control Officer (DCO) for sample collection.
If any athlete fails to appear on all the specified dates, it invites sanctions for breach of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) Code. The premier example of this is West Indies' all-rounder Andre Russell who was banned for one year by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Agency.
Till date, Sweden-based International Dope Testing Management (IDTM) has been collecting the samples and submitting them to the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL).
"IDTM IS no longer the authorised agency," Jhulaniya asserted.