ICC anti-doping policy September 18, 2009

No exceptions for India, says WADA chief

Cricinfo staff

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has written to the Indian government and asked whether it backs the BCCI's stand against the 'whereabouts' clause in the amended anti-dope code.

"We've taken it up with the appropriate Indian authorities and made a request to see if the Indian government supports the stand taken by the BCCI," John Fahey, the WADA president, said. "There has been some exchange of correspondence but we haven't got anything conclusive. But when we do receive an official response from the Indian government, we are quite prepared to disclose that view in whatever form that takes."

Fahey hoped that the issue would be sorted out during the ICC's chief executive's meeting in early October, during the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa. Fahey added that countries should ideally not reveal the players in the registered testing pool.

"It is helpful any sport keeps that to themselves, they should decide who should be on the registered testing pool and they should make their rules about what that might be," Fahey said. "Having said that, any athlete can be tested anywhere any time. I've to stress that again whether you are part of the registered testing pool or not, that's part of the WADA code."

He added that "the element of surprise" in the clause is essential for out of competition tests.

The ICC implemented the new WADA code from January 1 and that included a clause which mandated cricketers nominated to an international testing pool to reveal to an ICC-nominated officer before every quarter details of their location for an hour every day for the next three months to facilitate out-of-competition testing.

This whereabouts system was to start from August 1 but was stalled after the 11 Indian cricketers in the pool, including Sachin Tendulkar, refused to reveal the required information citing security and privacy concerns. The BCCI has backed the players in this issue and even sought the opinion of two top legal authorities in the country to firm up its stand. It is believed that the BCCI now has significant support from other ICC full members on this issue.