Sports Ministry orders NADA to conduct dope tests on Indian cricketers

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Sports Ministry orders NADA to conduct dope tests on Indian cricketers

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SportsCafe Desk

10/29/2017

According to the orders of Sports Ministry, the NADA will be enforcing the WADA Code on the BCCI and will get the power to conduct dope tests on cricketers during domestic and international matches in India. WADA asked ICC to order BCCI about the same in order to ensure that BCCI is WADA-compliant.

The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) will enforce the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Code in all its "fairness and entirety" on the BCCI and will be getting the full authority and powers to send its 'dope control officers' to collect in-competition blood and urine samples of the cricketers participating in the BCCI-recognized tournaments and matches. 

As per a report in Times of India, the ICC has been asked by WADA to direct the Indian board to allow dope testing of Indian cricketers conducted by NADA. Also, WADA has asked India's sports ministry in writing to ensure that BCCI is a WADA-compliant and threatened to cancel NADA's accreditation if this was not guaranteed.

"I have instructed NADA's director general (Navin Agarwal) to send his DCOs to cricket tournaments in India to collect the samples of cricketers. If the BCCI resists or creates any hurdle in NADA's functioning, we won't hesitate from taking further action against the cricket board," Rahul Bhatnagar, secretary sports, told TOI.

"We will first start with in-competition testing during matches played in India. Then, we will gradually move forward (to conduct out-of-competition testing). If the BCCI has not responded to NADA's previous mails that doesn't mean we (ministry) will stop discharging our duties. Let them first stop us from conducting dope tests. We will see what more needs to be done. The important thing is we will conduct testing within our parameters and rules and regulations as stipulated in the WADA Code," Bhatnagar added.

Moreover, if BCCI resists the dope testing by NADA, strict action will be taken by the ministry, and might even drag the body to court, revealed another official.

"BCCI is a public body. It's true that it doesn't take any financial grant from the ministry, but like any other national sports federation (NSF), it has to take permission to hold international tournaments and bilateral series. So, it can't continue saying we won't allow NADA to test cricketers, but engage a private international dope testing firm (IDTM) for sample collection," the official said.

Bhatnagar also stated that the ministry is in favor of being WADA-compliant and will begin the task of collecting samples. 

"We have to take this issue to its logical conclusion once and for all. For now, we are going ahead with the sample collection. We don't want to become non-compliant to the WADA Code."

According to the reports doing rounds, NADA will be starting dope testing of cricketers in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season. However, a BCCI source stated that the board would take the issue seriously after the conclusion of the Supreme Court proceedings in the Lodha committee recommendations case.

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