The Board of Control for Cricket in India CEO Rahul Johri, in a letter to the sports ministry, has said the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has no jurisdiction to conduct dope tests on Indian cricketers. This comes a fortnight after the sports ministry directed the NADA to conduct dope tests on cricketers after it was informed by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) that failure to do so could lead to non-compliance of the code.
In the letter, the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has said that the BCCI is not a national sports federation but an autonomous sports organisation affiliated to the International Cricket Council. “The BCCI is not subject to the jurisdiction of NADA and is required to operate within the rules and regulations set by the ICC,” the letter states.
The BCCI response was prepared with instructions from Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators. In the letter, the BCCI CEO said that the BCCI code is compliant with the WADA Code and that the Indian cricket board also adheres to the WADA International Standard for Testing and Investigations.
“The BCCI already has a robust dope testing mechanism, which is employed for both during competitions and out-of-competitions and the testing of samples by International Doping Tests and Management (IDTM) is already being done at WADA accredited laboratory (NDTL) under aegis of the Sports Ministry… The IDTM sends the collected samples for testing to a WADA accredited laboratory viz, National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), as mandated by WADA. Since the CEO of NDTL is the sports secretary, the dope testing for BCCI is conducted under the aegis of the Sports Ministry,” wrote Johri.
In October the sports ministry had ordered the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) to conduct tests on cricketers and has sought the BCCI’s cooperation for the same. The ministry’s intervention comes after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) wrote to it recently, raising concerns over the BCCI’s non-compliance.
Subsequently, sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar had told NADA director general Navin Agarwal to send dope control officers to cricket tournaments and conduct the tests. “If BCCI is not going to co-operate, I have told the NADA director general to send teams to the cricket competitions and take tests and if they resist, we will deal with that. But we will go ahead with the tests of these Indian cricketers as per anti-doping rules of NADA and WADA,” Bhatnagar had said.
As per the WADA’s 2016 report, the BCCI is not the only governing body to conduct tests directly – Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Indies are some other boards that report directly to ICC and WADA instead of going through their national anti-doping organisation. The report further added that the BCCI conducted a total of 153 urine tests out of which one returned positive. The details of the positive test have not been made public.
With inputs from PTI