BCCI rejects anti-doping code

Board terms it an invasion of players privacy


High on support: Cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh leave the BCCI  office after a meeting in Mumbai on Sunday.  AP

The BCCI said on Sunday it had no problem with the players being examined as part of the WADA code, but it fully shared their concerns on the “Whereabouts Clause,” which requires them to furnish information about their location three months in advance for the out-of-competition test.

The decision to back the players was taken at an emergency meeting of the working committee, which deliberated at length on the issue and wanted the ICC to renegotiate the code with WADA. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh were present at the meeting, while Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were consulted over the phone.

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) ruled out a confrontation with the BCCI, saying a “practical and mutually acceptable solution” would be worked out. WADA expressed its concern at the BCCI stand and said it “laments the decision of the BCCI.”

After the meeting here, BCCI President Shashank Manohar said: “We agree with the dope testing code. We are only objecting to the system. Our players are ready to be tested, but they say they are not in a position to give their whereabouts. We back the players on this.”

The BCCI gave three reasons for not agreeing to the clause, saying it was unreasonable, violative of the Constitution and an invasion of the players’ privacy.

“The players have security cover and cannot disclose their whereabouts with a security cover. Secondly, the privacy of an individual cannot be invaded and thirdly, our Constitution gives a guarantee regarding an individual’s privacy. You cannot invade on somebody’s privacy 24 hours a day for 365 days,” Manohar said.

“But if the ICC or WADA wants to test the players, they can inform the Board, which will get the players at the required location within two days. This is our suggestion,” he added. But the BCCI’s opposition to the clause has put the ICC in a quandary since cricketers of most other nations have agreed to sign the code.

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