His absence from the hearings of a NADA panel raising eyebrows, former India opener Virender Sehwag on Tuesday said he was reluctant to be a part of the committee and joined only because Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had requested. Sehwag said he always felt that only Olympians should have been on the committee and not cricketers.
Sehwag, who was inducted into the six-member Anti Doping Appeals Panel (ADAP) of NADA in November 2017, has not been able to attend any hearing till date.
“I feel former Olympians should be a part of the NADA panels rather than cricketers. The sportspersons in Olympic categories are more in sync with working procedure of NADA,” Sehwag told PTI.
“The Olympians know more than someone like me about anti-doping codes. I was initially reluctant about being a part of the panel,” Sehwag, who is known to speak his mind, said.
“I have always been a part of BCCI and I have rarely undergone dope tests, save the ICC tournaments that we played. So I have no hesitation in admitting that my knowledge is limited,” Sehwag added.
The legendary batsman said that he decided to join the NADA panel only after a request from Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
“It was because of request from the Sports Minister that I gave my consent. He told me that someone of my stature could make a difference,” Sehwag said.
He also clarified that during the first two hearings of ADAP, he was not even informed by the NADA about the dates.
“I can put it on record that I was not told about the dates of the first two hearings. Then on the third hearing, I couldn’t unfortunately attend as my son was not well,” he informed.
However, what has surprised Sehwag is that no one has informed him about ADAP hearings slated in August and September as per NADA website. The panels for all the hearings have been announced and Sehwag’s name is not there.
“This I am hearing from you. Now if someone from NADA contacts me now and I can probably confirm my availability. But if I am asked on August 6 about August 10 hearing, it might happen that I have prior commitments,” Sehwag said.
He also said that he is unaware about the duration of the panel. “I need to check the duration of the panel, whether it’s one year or two years,” he said.