ICC anti-doping policy September 21, 2009

BCCI refuses to align with government on anti-doping stand

Cricinfo staff

The BCCI has said it will not abide by the Indian government's stand on the controversial anti-doping code, and has maintained that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) drop the controversial 'whereabouts' clause for Indian players.

Even as India's National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) said the particular clause had been accepted and approved by the Indian government, BCCI president Shashank Manohar chose to avoid any debate with the sports ministry and said the board would pursue the case only with the ICC.

"The BCCI's stand on the WADA issue is the same as it was," he told the Indian Express. "We will next discuss the matter in the ICC's special meeting next month. Whatever we have to say on this issue, we will coordinate with the ICC."

Manohar will attend the ICC summit, scheduled for October 6-7 in Johannesburg, where the BCCI's objection to the 'whereabouts clause' will come up for debate. He hoped the ICC would eventually drop the clause given the opposition from the boards in Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

Meawhile, NADA is believed to be contemplating action against the BCCI for its stand. "We had our doubts since we got no response to all our communication to the BCCI asking for their comments or concurrence to the anti-doping rules," Rahul Bhatnagar, director-general of NADA, told the Times of India. "The normal course of action against federations which flout rules is economic sanctions and other deterrents. We will take suitable action in consultation with WADA."

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.

Cricket's governing body became a WADA signatory in 2006 and last year unanimously approved out-of-competition tests on players in accordance with amendments made to the code.