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Cricketers must toe WADA line, says Gill

Source: PTI
August 03, 2009 16:03 IST
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Sports Minister M S Gill on Monday opposed the Board of Control for Cricket in India's stance on the 'whereabout' clause of the World Anti-Doping Agency, saying cricketers should fall in line without cribbing.

Dismissing the claim that the clause -- which requires players to inform about their whereabouts three months in advance for out-of-competition testing -- is an infringement on their privacy, Gill said that is not the case.

"We have accepted WADA regulatory testing and we adhere to it. Sportspersons should be clear in one thing… that it is not getting into someone's life," Gill told reporters after the state sports ministers' conference in Delhi.

The voice of dissent amongst Indian cricketers seems to have surprised the minister, who pointed out that most sportspersons across the world have already signed it.

"All sportspersons should adhere to it and happily follow it, as so many sports federations and players are following it," Gill said.

The 'whereabout' clause of the WADA code has ruffled many feathers in India, with the BCCI convening an emergency working committee meeting in Mumbai, on Sunday, which was attended by India captain M S Dhoni and senior players Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh.

After the meeting, BCCI president Shashank Manohar said the Board has no issues with out-of-competition testing of the 11 cricketers in the WADA pool but the 'whereabout' clause is not only an infringement of their privacy but also poses security risks.

The BCCI has asked the ICC, a WADA signatory, to explore the possibilities of having a separate anti-doping mechanism of its own.

Gill, however, felt that WADA is championing a good cause and every one should support its bid for a dope-free world.

"We should support WADA in its cause. The world is concerned about doping and we should support WADA," he said.

The sports minister said India is serious about it and it is an achievement in itself to have a WADA-accredited National Dope Testing Laboratory in Delhi.

"Last year, we got the accreditation from WADA after so much effort and we are proud to be associated with it.

"We have set up a dope testing laboratory next to Nehru stadium and now Sweden is also sending samples of their players for testing. We should be proud of it," Gill added.

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