The International Cricket Council [ Images ] has tabled an anti-doping code it says satisfies WADA's 'whereabouts' rule but will not force many elite cricketers to provide information on their location away from the game.
According to an excerpt of a draft code forwarded to Reuters on Thursday, member nations' 11 top-ranked one-day international cricketers on a "National Player Pool" would only need to provide "cricket whereabouts information" rather than their personal whereabouts at all times.
The more rigorous application of the rule -- including compelling athletes to nominate their whereabouts for an hour every day over a quarterly period -- would only apply to cricketers placed on a registered testing pool.
These would be confined to players with past doping offences, those unfit or with injuries that sideline them for at least three months and those demoted from the National Player Pool for whereabouts-related violations.
The code, which has already been distributed to member nations for sign-off, follows more than a year of wrangling between the ICC [ Images ] and cricket boards, with opposition to the whereabouts rule led by the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India [ Images ].
Indian media reports on Thursday cast the relatively lenient code as a victory for its cricketers, who in particular had objected to the rule, citing security and privacy concerns in a country where the sport enjoys a fanatical following.
An ICC spokesman refuted the reports and said the code had been drafted in consultation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and had the body's full endorsement. He would not provide further comment.
Canada-based WADA was unavailable for comment while a spokesman from Cricket Australia [ Images ] confirmed they had received a copy of the anti-doping code.
"We support WADA and its codes and its objectives but there is a challenge when you're trying to come up with a code that fits every single sport in the world, and our sport has particular characteristics that are sometimes hard to package up in a homogenised way," the spokesman said.
"We're confident that we can work an outcome that satisfies WADA and allows cricket to keep operating the way it is."