August 5, 2009

ICC anti-doping policy

The Abhinav Bindra guide to complying with WADA

Kanishkaa Balachandran

So what's the fuss all about? Is complying with the WADA code on a daily basis as difficult as it's made out to be by the Indian cricketers? India's gold medal hero in the Beijing Olympics, Abhinav Bindra, religiously follows the code, which he says easily blends into your daily routine. Bindra describes his routine to the Indian Express. Athletes and other sportspersons who still have apprehensions about the code may want to read this.

“I’m home most days from 7am to 8 am, so that time suits me perfectly,” Bindra said. "Anyway, you’re ready to pee when you get up in the morning and that’s all they would ask for.” Entries made by the athlete are expected to stand for a quarter of the year, unless he/she changes plans, like Bindra did for today. “So I logged on, clicked on the box for August 4, 2009 on the calendar, disabled my usual testing slot, and entered the new evening one,” Bindra said.

An editorial in the Hindu slams the Indian cricketers and the BCCI for sending out a misleading message to the international sports community, especially since recent examples have proven that cricket is not 'wholly clean.' Indian cricket would be stupid not to fall in line with the code.

The ICC should be applauded for endorsing the regulations because WADA will vastly improve the its ability to identify those players who are struggling with addiction or who are using banned substances, writes Neil Johnson in the Witness. Early detection will provide affected players with the opportunity to come clean and to get their lives back on track.

In more recent times drug addictions have destroyed the careers of many fine cricketers. Chris Lewis and Ed Giddins, both English Test bowlers’ have struggled with addiction, as has Dermot Reeve whose cocaine habit saw him lose a lucrative commentary contract with Channel 4 television.

Gordon Farquhar, writing on the BBC Cricket website, says that the BCCI's refusal to adopt the WADA code is a battle of wills which could determine who holds the power in world cricket.

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Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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