Ministry tells NADA to begin testing of cricketers

We have to follow directives from WADA, says top official

Ministry tells NADA to begin testing of cricketers
The Sports Ministry has directed the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to implement the instructions of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and go ahead with the dope-testing of cricket players.

The ministry directive follows the world’s body’s strongly-worded letter over the non-compliance of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) with regard to its protocols.

The newly-appointed sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar confirmed receiving the letter from WADA and said he had told the NADA Director General Navin Agarwal to go ahead with testing procedures.

“A letter has been received from WADA stating their displeasure over cricket’s non-compliance. I have spoken to NADA director general. I have asked him to send the teams and begin testing,” Bhatnagar, a former NADA director-general, told DH.

“NADA has also written the to the BCCI and the Committee of Administrators over the matter, but got no response. Now, the directions have come from WADA and we have no option but to follow it. Let us see how it goes.”

It has been reported that WADA had warned that if the Indian agency failed to meet the demand, it could lose WADA approval as the sole dope-testing agency in India. Losing the status of a Code signatory can put the participation of other athletes in international competitions at risk.

Recently, WADA had published a report stating that one cricketer had tested positive in a test conducted by BCCI. So far, BCCI has not named the cricketer.

The tussle between NADA and the BCCI has been a long-standing one. BCCI does not recognise itself as a National Sports Federation(NSF), but is considered to be one by the Sports Ministry which gives its sanctions for the tournaments hosted in India.

Despite International Cricket Council (ICC) being a WADA signatory since 2006, BCCI has followed the sample collection through a private agency, instead of NADA, as per rules.

The BCCI also has its own whereabouts system where its files the information of the top 11 cricketers in the country based on the latest ICC player rankings. The whereabouts information is submitted on WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS). The tests of the samples are done at the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL). The BCCI has insisted that it uses the services of IDTM ― a WADA-approved agency, for conducting tests.

Recently in an interview to DH, the NADA chief had stated there was lack of transparency in the BCCI process. “I don’t see any reason why they should be averse to NADA doing the testing. There is no transparency in what the BCCI does. I am not disputing (BCCI doing random testing), but it is not covered as per the rules in the country,” Agarwal had stated.

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