'We're concerned about whereabouts clause'

'We're concerned about whereabouts clause'

Zaheer, Bhajji raise their voice against WADA

Zaheer Khan

“We absolutely have no objection to be tested. We know it’s important for the game that the players are tested, it’s undoubtedly for the betterment of the game we play. It’s only a particular clause that we don’t agree to,” Zaheer told reporters. “We are ready to be tested anytime but we are concerned about the ‘whereabout’ clause,” he said.

Claiming that the Indian cricketers are not isolated in their objection to the clause, Zaheer said, “I’m sure athletes all over the world have problems with the clause. It is high time someone took the initiative and we are happy that we did it.

“We got the cricket board’s support as well and will go by whatever the BCCI says,” said Zaheer. Incidentally, tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams also have flayed the rule before signing the code reluctantly.

Harbhajan Singh likened the ‘Whereabouts’ clause of the WADA Anti-Doping Code to an iron chain and also hit out at sportspersons who have criticised cricketers for not signing it.

“We never go out and preach other sports their code of conduct and that is what I expect from my respected colleagues from other sports too. At no point (do) I feel that we are doing more for our country than them or we are at a higher platform from them,” he said.

“In a nutshell, this clause is like an iron chain around my valuable time which belongs to me, my family and my close ones,” he says. “It seems like everyone and anyone has a view on it and the majority blaming us for creating much ado about nothing. It has become such a huge crime, that the intellects from all walks of life have obliged us by making us realise how irresponsible we are as sportspersons and as citizens of this civilised world.

“The general outlook is that we are spoiled brats who want doping to continue in the chaste world of sports or hardly care about this serious issue,” he says.

Harbhajan pointed out he has been dope-tested on a minimum of 15 occasions in the past eight years and has always been co-operative.

Harbhajan said he could miss a dope test at the prescribed time and day because of some other personal commitments. “In the process of all my personal commitments, if I am not available in their (WADA’s) prescribed radar, I have a missed test label against my name.

“Three incidents like this and a ban of one to two years waits for me. And going by how efficient Indian media is, it will find way in some newspaper or another, questioning my integrity and commitment,” he said.

Harbhajan said there were better ways to catch the drug-taking culprits in sports. “To put it more relatively, I would like others to imagine themselves being under a 24-hour vigilance for the coming three months.

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