Anti-doping measures 'under resourced' October 17, 2006

ICC drugs policy under fire



Tim May: 'The game's lethargy in addressing this matter may have contributed to two young men ruining their careers and reputations' © Getty Images
Tim May, the chief executive of FICA, the international players' association, has called on the ICC to undertake "a more responsible and better process of education for players and administrators from all countries participating at ICC events".

In a letter to the heads of all relevant players' associations, May highlighted that there were some countries with little or no experience in doping and warned that they would not be able to offer players effective education.

In July 2006, the ICC conducted a survey of all Full Member countries, in part requesting details of education programs provided to players re the Champions Trophy Anti-Doping Policy. Although a deadline of July 31 was imposed for replies to be submitted, it is understood that a number of countries have still not responded.

"Despite several requests ICC has not been able to confirm that all countries have conducted satisfactory education of players with regard to ICC anti-doping policy that is operable at the 2006 Champions Trophy," May explained. "Additionally, the ICC has refused to supply FICA details of five Full Member countries education programs - this includes Pakistan.

"Such non-disclosure only raises suspicion levels as to the effectiveness of education extended to players within those countries and is an unnecessary hurdle in FICA's genuine attempts to ensure all players throughout the world are given adequate education of such policies.

The ICC applies a multi-million budget per annum to anti corruption, yet FICA's efforts to convince the ICC to spare resources for anti-doping education has been a constant uphill battle
"Admittedly, the ICC has recently with FICA's input completed an educational DVD that it will present to all players during the Champions Trophy. Unfortunately, due to its late production it will be of little value for players at the tournament - however, it is a step in the right direction for latter tournaments and the general awareness and understandings of players regarding anti-doping policies.

"FICA believes that there are two major dangers to the integrity of the game and its players - corruption and doping," May continued. "The ICC applies a multi-million budget per annum to anti corruption, yet FICA's efforts to convince the ICC to spare resources for anti-doping education has been a constant uphill battle.

"In June of last year FICA warned that cricketers may be tempted by prohibited substances to aid recovery, as this was the trend of other sports worldwide.

"These suggestions were greeted with public outcry by Malcolm Speed [the ICC chief executive] who said 'Remarks like that serve no purpose in a reasoned debate and do FICA no credit at all'. I wonder if the game might be adopting a more serious attitude to the education process now and apply the appropriate level of resources that this potential problem deserves.

"Unfortunately the game's lethargy in addressing this matter may have contributed to two young men ruining their careers and reputations."

Martin Williamson is managing editor of Cricinfo

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