The Indian cricket board has opened a 24x7 anti-doping helpline for domestic cricketers which will assist with ‘Dos and Don’ts’ in the use of supplements and medication, and the national cricket body is reportedly spending Rs 1 crore annually on its anti-doping programme.
The BCCI is, perhaps, the only Indian sports body that has opened an anti-doping helpline for its athletes, and has considerably stepped up its efforts to keep the sport clean. According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the BCCI conducted 176 tests last year, all the results were negative
“A lot of people don’t know about it but all our registered cricketers from under-16 to first-class level have access to the ant-doping helpline. It is a part of the BCCI initiative to create more awareness at the domestic level,” an unnamed BCCI source told PTI news agency.
“The international cricketers have a fantastic support system and they are more aware about the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ pertaining to usage of supplements as well as medicine when it comes to illness. The latest Dope Control list is a testimony to that.”
Doping has been a bane across several sporting disciplines in India, and a cause for embarrassment on the global arena. Although Indian cricket has not been affected by it as yet, the BCCI’s measures will go a long way in keeping it that way.
Dr Vece Paes is heading BCCI’s anti-doping programme, and according to WADA, India is only second to the ICC in terms of number of doping tests conducted among cricketing bodies.