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ICC to meet BCCI on anti-doping code

Ajay S Shankar

July 30, 2009

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Haroon Lorgat takes questions from the media, Melbourne, January 4, 2009
Haroon Lorgat: "All that the ICC is striving for is the most pragmatic solution." © Getty Images
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An ICC lawyer will meet BCCI officials in Mumbai on Sunday to address concerns expressed by Indian players on the new anti-doping code and to remind the Indian board that it sees no further reason to delay its implementation, Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, which was put in place by the ICC from January, requires players in the testing pool to inform the governing body through an online form about their whereabouts in advance. Lorgat revealed that an "overwhelming majority" of players in the pool from all countries have done so during the trial period, within the ICC's July 31 deadline, except India.

Indian players in the ICC's testing pool have raised various concerns about these 'whereabouts' forms and one of them told Cricinfo that it would be impossible to provide accurate information in advance, given their "fluctuating and hectic" professional and personal schedules. They are also worried about disclosing what they believe is confidential information and have raised queries about the security aspect. Similar "practicality issues" have already been voiced by the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) , which also believes that such norms infringe on players' privacy.

Lorgat said he understood these concerns but added that the anti-doping measures were "absolutely necessary, quite like the security checks that are done at all airports these days" to ensure that cricket remains a clean sport. He also said that the ICC was looking for the "most pragmatic solution" and that if changes needed to be made to the system, it would revert to WADA by the end of this year.

"During the trial period, the overwhelming majority of players from all countries, except India, submitted whereabouts information," Lorgat told Cricinfo. "I understand and appreciate that there will be some concerns and reservations from all players and I am sure they feel that those concerns are genuine. However, the ICC has spent the past few months addressing all of those concerns, and, having taken great care to do so, we see no further reason to delay the full implementation of the requirements specified by the WADA Code. WADA's whereabouts system was developed after months of consultation and by adopting the same, we hope to ensure that our sport remains fair and clean. We will seek to remind the BCCI of this point when we meet with it on Sunday."

Lorgat admitted that revealing details of whereabouts in advance is "not something everyone would want to do" but added that it was necessary to maintain an effective out-of-competition testing programme and prevent abuse of the system. He also said that the ICC and BCCI, which has called for a meeting of its working committee on Sunday to discuss the issue, were in agreement that the game needs to remain "clean and honest".

"I understand that submitting details of your whereabouts in advance is not something everyone would want to do and I understand the concerns of players and their associations who may consider such a move an infringement of their private space," Lorgat said. "But it is absolutely necessary, quite like the security checks that are done at all airports these days, if we are to manage an effective out-of-competition testing programme in support of our wider aim, which is to prevent abuse of the system. We are confident that the overwhelming majority of cricketers worldwide are clean but we have to take into account the tiny majority who may be incentivised to cheat their fellow participants. We need to ensure that those players who play by the rules are not penalised for doing so."

The ICC will be represented by Iain Higgins, its company lawyer, at Sunday's meeting, which Lorgat hoped would clear any remaining concerns of Indian players.

"If we think that there are things that need to change in the system, we will provide feedback to WADA in the course of our wider review of the IRTP (International Registered Testing Pool) at the end of the year," he said. "There are a number of ways of ensuring compliance with the requirements. For instance, the players need not necessarily submit all of the information themselves. The national board can appoint an administrative official who can help to manage the process. All that the ICC is striving for is the most pragmatic solution."

Ajay Shankar is a deputy editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by opium_abs on (August 5, 2009, 6:47 GMT)

what ICC mean exactely ? INDIAN CRICKET COUNCIL ???

Posted by Phil. on (August 1, 2009, 18:15 GMT)

In order to have a workable drug testing regime for athletes it is necessary to have both in and out of competition testing and that it be conducted by an independent organisation. This is what WADA was set up to do and has been doing for several years in many sports, I have many friends who have been subject to it's testing and complete whereabouts forms on a regular basis. Yes it is onerous and one does have to stay on top of things but that's part of competing at that level. The most reliable way is to specify an early morning time, say 6-7, at home and make modifications when travelling. Christine Uhuruogu, an Olympic champion, fell foul of this regulation and served a 1yr ban, I believe that is what she does. There's nothing special about cricketers, if they want to play at the top level they should do what everyone else does, keep a diary and get tested.

Posted by fuss on (August 1, 2009, 9:37 GMT)

My dear HundredPercentBarcelonista. Just because everyone is doing it doesnt make it right!! Whats wrong is wrong.....its a huge security concern...cricket is already on the terror radar and this was proved in Lahore earlier this year....this terrorists will come after our cricketers and then who's gonna be answerable if their location details are revealed in this manner...

Posted by captaincrunch on (July 31, 2009, 18:03 GMT)

Hi, for those who supported Mr. Kirsten's view on "FATIGUE" the reason why india did not advance in the T20 world cup. guys there is a good news for you all except new zealand and south africa all other countries are playing non stop cricket so these countries players will be fagged out during the champions trophy, as indian players got good rest, i think india will have to win the trophy. lets see guys if these bunch of jokers can do it.

Posted by HundredPercentBarcelonista on (July 31, 2009, 17:35 GMT)

I wonder what makes Indian cricketers so precious they cannot follow these guidelines. Cricketers from every other country have agreed to the terms and there are quite a few non-Indian cricketers who feature in commercials and have a lot on their plate when they're not playing cricket.

If anybody follows baseball they'll know of this list of 100 ballplayers who tested positive in 2003. The names were supposed to be confidential but are coming out one by one, and the list is the who is who of Major League Baseball. Do we really want cricket to go down that path?

Posted by vswami on (July 31, 2009, 15:34 GMT)

How can extremely busy and public personalities like Tendulkar disclose where he is going to be 90 days in advance ? Its intriguing that other sports with equally busy personalities follow the same procedures. I think the issue has not been well explained by the media.

Posted by second_innings on (July 31, 2009, 15:26 GMT)

90 days in advance might seem too much but a cricketer has a reasonable idea about his schedule - matches, practice, ad shoot (particularly if you are an Indian player), break (which doesn't apply most of the times if you are an Indian player), etc. Definitely I would not want to be giving dope samples when I am vacationing but that doesn't mean it is beyond anyone's means. And one can inform the WADA about the change in schedules. Andy Murray was Tweating from his locker room during wimbledon, so sending a text message or email from mobile phone shouldn't be a problem. After all, doesn't MSD use Pocket Internet? Yes, it is not easy but as a fan I would better see them go through this difficulty rather than witness a Mohammad Asif's drama. This is a situation that elite sportspersons have brought on themselves!!!

Posted by abhijithsimha on (July 31, 2009, 13:28 GMT)

I feel the real issue is security here, If say Sachin submits his day to day activities for the next 90 days, Hackers and ICC officials will have access to that information, it may result in a terrorist attack centering Sachin, who obviously is a very prominent sporting figure, given what has happened to the Lankan team in Pakistan, This is a serious threat....

Posted by pozx on (July 31, 2009, 11:35 GMT)

I totally agree with redneck, moreover for Indian players with so many endorsements and functions to attend they will have a real problem to tell ICC 90 day in advance of their whereabouts.

Posted by Arsh on (July 31, 2009, 8:04 GMT)

To make it worse WADA wants to know 90 days in ADVANCE! I find it outrageous. Even I don't know where I will be at a particular time of the day in 90 days. I too find it strange that no other players have voiced any concerns.

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