No need to follow World Anti-doping Agency regulations BCCI to Sports Ministry

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has resisted the need to follow the World Anti-doping Agency regulations as it is an autonomous body and it cannot be subjected to the jurisdictions of the National Anti-doping Agency.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday said it cannot be subjected to the jurisdiction of the National Anti-doping Agency (NADA), stating that it is an “autonomous body affiliated to the International Cricket Council”.

The Indian cricket board released separate letters written to NADA and the Department of Sports, asserting that it follows the ICC Code, which is based on the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) Code.

Despite the pressure built up by NADA and the Indian Sports Ministry asking the agency to collect samples from cricketers during BCCI-recognised tournaments, the Indian cricket Board has asserted that it follows the necessary guidelines and none of its officials is supposed to coordinate with NADA on this.

BCCI conveyed NADA that it “already has a robust dope testing mechanism which is employed for both during competitions and out-of-competitions”, and the “testing of samples collected by International Doping Tests and Management (IDTM) is already being done at a WADA accredited laboratory under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.”

The Indian Board added that it is “affiliated with the International Cricket Council, which governs the game globally” and being a full member it is also a “signatory to the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code since 2006 and the ICC Code, which is based on the WADA Code”.

‘BCCI not under NADA jurisdiction’

The board clearly stated that it cannot be pushed under the NADA jurisdiction by saying that it is not a National Sports Federation (NSF).

“At the very outset it is necessary to clarify that the BCCI is not a National Sports Federation but an autonomous sports organisation affiliated to the ICC, which governs the game globally.”

The BCCI said that it has ‘adopted and implemented’ the ICC Code — which is based on the WADA Code — since 2011 as a full member of the cricket governing body.

“For analysis and testing of samples, BCCI adheres to the WADA International Standard for Laboratories and the WADA International Standard for Testing and Investigations,” the letter said. “BCCI has adopted the WADA list of prohibited substances and prohibited methods, as amended by WADA from time to time, as more particularly set out in Article 4.1 to 4.3 of the BCCI code,” it added.

“BCCI has engaged the services of the same expert sample collection agency that is also engaged by the ICC to provide collection sample services viz. International Doping Tests & Management,” it said.

‘BCCI not a National Sports Federation’

The WADA has reportedly warned its Indian arm that it may lose affiliation if it fails to get the Indian cricketers under this jurisdiction, but the BCCI has stated it is not possible.

“BCCI is not a National Sports Federation. Accordingly, NADA does not have jurisdiction to conduct dope testing on Indian cricketers in any domestic competition or international events organised by or under the aegis of BCCI,” the Indian cricket body said while acknowledging that NADA is responsible for the implementation of anti-doping measures and all NSFs in India.

“There is no requirement for any BCCI official to coordinate with NADA for dope testing of Indian cricketers either during competitions or out-of-competitions”, the board has asserted.

‘Highest number of testing reported by BCCI’

The Indian cricket board also claimed that starting from 2013, it has recorded the highest number of sample testing among all cricket boards adding that it is the only sports body in India which has ‘created a 24×7 anti-doping helpline’.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) had a few days ago stated that it was satisfied with the current anti-doping system in place in Indian cricket.

It has also been reported that the Indian cricketers are not comfortable signing the ‘whereabouts clause’ — which requires them to disclose their location to the International Sports Federation (IF) or in India’s case, NADA.