ICC anti-doping policy August 5, 2009

Treat cricketers differently - Yuvraj

Cricinfo staff

Yuvraj Singh has hit back at the criticism over the Indian cricketers' decision to reject the World Anti Doping Agency's regulations concerning drug testing, asking for cricketers to be treated differently from other sportsmen.

"Their sports and our sport is different," he said. "We play more and we get very little time with our families and I feel we are travelling more. We are playing a lot of time in a year and we should be given more space, with due respect to other sports."

The 11 Indian cricketers in the ICC's testing pool have raised concerns that the code's 'whereabouts' clause that will require them to divulge information about their location three months in advance and say that this that could violate privacy and threaten their security. However, several top Indian athletes previously tested by WADA have said the code does not infringe on privacy.

The extensive travelling, Yuvraj said, gave India's cricketers too few days to spend at home each year. "After nine months of playing, we come home for just ten days," he told news channel CNN-IBN. "We don't want somebody to intrude upon our privacy for dope tests during that small period. We have put out our points in front of the BCCI and they will speak to the ICC."

The Indian sports minister MS Gill endorsed the view of some of India's leading athletes who've expressed no problems subscribing to the code, saying all national sports bodies and players should support the WADA and adhere to its regulations. The BCCI plans to ask the ICC to walk out of the WADA umbrella and develop a cricket-specific anti-doping code, but cricket's governing body is unlikely to support such a suggestion.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Umair on August 7, 2009, 1:54 GMT

    The explanations offered offer a constantly shifting target: the BCCI says security is its main concern -- but security was not even mentioned in yesterday's CNN-IBN interview with yuvraj and the BCCI's rajiv Shukla. The focus was on privacy and how cricketers were "different" in yuvraj's estimation. It's ridiculous (I agree that some cricketers have genuine security concerns, but that can be worked out with some appropriate protocol; to sweep away the whereabouts clause in its entirety is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater), and I completely agree with the Indian sports minister, who has rightly pooh-poohed the objections. The BCCI needs to learn that with great power comes great responsibility -- nothing that the board has done over the last year or two suggests that they appreciate this. As a die hard fan of the Indian cricket team, this is embarrassing.

  • Sandeep on August 6, 2009, 19:32 GMT

    Lets try and be a little objective here. We seem to make the players off field activities like ads and such our favorite whipping toy whenever something like this comes up. And to the argument, that they should go through whatever draconian measures that are put in front of them just because they are leading sportsmen and its their responsibility. Lets stop and think for a moment from the players perspective as well. The whereabouts clause is ludicrous. I'm not sure why the other players in the world have accepted it in spite of having strong reservations about it. Just because everyone has accepted it does not make it right. Specifically with the case of Sachin and Dhoni who have threats against their lives. If I was in there situation, I would not be disclosing any information about my whereabouts for the next 3 months down to the hour if I had a security threat to any 3rd party. What is the guarantee that the information sent to WADA over the internet cannot be hacked into?

  • abinanthan on August 6, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    Well well... So for how long FIFA is negotiating with WADA on the "whereabout" clause and what kind of response WADA has given? Yes, comments like these made by Yuvraj as mentioned in the article are stupid. But why WADA is behaving like a big brother? Why cant they come to the table and arrive at a solution if not with the cricketers, with the FIFA?

  • Nick on August 6, 2009, 13:53 GMT

    "Yuvaraj is absolutely correct and strong in his statement ICC always like to suppress indian players" - RengaRamanuajn. Thanks for the biggest laugh I've had all day! That hilarious piece of ironic humour caused me to genuinely LOL.

  • Rajasundram on August 6, 2009, 13:48 GMT

    There was a suggestion made that the players register their personal phones with the board. The WADA then gives 24 hour notice of the test to the player who informs WADA where he will be during that period. This is I feel a lot more preferable than the 'whereabouts' clause to which the Indian cricketers are strongly objecting. It is a compromise worth considering, because the Indian cricketers too are against any form of 'doping' like all other decent sportsmen. It is a question of give and take to ensure a peaceful solution. Confrontation doesn't solve the problem. Siva from Singapore

  • Mahesh on August 6, 2009, 13:17 GMT

    It is wrong of Yuvraj Singh to say other sports are different to Cricket in terms of the schedules maintained by all. Having said that, I would like to ask all those who criticise the Indian cricketers on this issue, if they can submit a schedule of their lives for 3 months with little margin for change and heavy penalties for wrong information. Just because "millions" of atheletes across the globe did not question this clause, it does not mean that Indian cricketers are against dope testing, as suggested in some of the posts. Nobody is against dope testing. All they are saying is that they cannot provide details of their whereabouts in advance, be it for security reasons or simply privacy. I really wonder how many of us know exactly where we will be in the next 24 hours, hour by hour, let alone the next 3 months!!!!

  • S on August 6, 2009, 11:25 GMT

    this is all a little silly and I must echo some of the comments made by other posters on this. The Indian cricketers need to give their egos a reality check. Merchandise and money wise Cricket is certainly not the biggest sport and Yuvraj's comment of cricketers playing and travelling 9 months a year is laughable. Last time I checked most of the "big sports" involve the same level of travel such as football (even more in a world cup year), athletics, tennis, golf etc etc. I do think that Cricket needs a slightly modified doping code as there is more skill involved than some other sports (ie a cricketer on steroids might not necessarily have the same advantage as a sprinter on steroids). But apart from that unless the Indian cricketers have something to hide they need to keep quiet (unless I've missed it I don't think the likes of Tendulkar have waded into the subject, only the younger upstarts).

  • Mani on August 6, 2009, 11:15 GMT

    You simply cannot comapre indian cricketers with any other indian sportsmen. They have a very high celebrity rating. They cannot even walk through a public road without security. They are also prime targets to terrorists. See what happened to srilankan players few months back!! For these reasons they cannot reveal they day today schedule for three months to someone else. Why people donot understand this!!!

  • diptadhi on August 6, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    i can't understand why we are blaming only cricketers!!!! fifa are still continuing its negotiations with wada, whereas both rodger fedrer and rafael nadal expressed their concern regarding whereabouts clause..... Therefore it is the responsibility for WADA to educate sportsperson throughout the world regarding their clause so that all of them can understand the clause..........................

  • Mahek on August 6, 2009, 9:49 GMT

    Well even your so-called impeccable Tendulkar doesn't want the whereabouts clause so it's not like he's any better than Yuvraj on this issue. As for India being the only country with a cult culture, you really need to see how footballers are adored in Europe. Even America is obsessed with its athletes, which is why Tiger Woods stands head and shoulders above the rest.

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