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'BCCI is very much WADA-compliant, but...'

June 01, 2010 17:49 IST

Haroon LorgatThe drama isn't over yet.

But if one of the parties concerned is to be believed, only the final act remains.

The standoff between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Cricket Council (ICC), led by the Board of Control for Cricket in India with regard the controversial 'whereabouts' clause, has lingered for some time now and seems set to continue.

However, there is no cause for concern, believes the ICC.

"I don't think it is an issue any more," said ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat on Tuesday.

"The BCCI is very much WADA-compliant. It follows a zero-tolerance policy as regards doping and it is just a question of discussing some of the finer details as regards the whereabouts clause."

The ICC CEO brushed aside concerns over a potential clash with WADA.

The World Anti-Doping Agency had last week clarified that it's time for the ICC to give the "final push" and convince its member boards -- the BCCI included -- to accept the controversial 'whereabouts' clause by November 2011, failing which it would be declared non-compliant to the WADA code.

'We don't set deadlines. Being a signatory, we expect the ICC and cricket to remain committed to the WADA Code. The ICC has done a lot in the last three years, now they just need to give the final push,' WADA director general David Howman had said then.

'The ICC is responsible for its member boards. ICC's job is to ensure that member boards comply with the WADA Code. We are going to have our next review in November 2011 and by that time if ICC fails to convince its member boards to comply with the Code, we will declare them non-compliant in our report to the International Olympic Committee. We don't have the purview to take actions against any non-complaint member, it is IOC and respective Olympic Council's prerogative,' he added.

Even though ICC is a signatory to WADA Code, it has not implemented the "whereabouts" clause, which came into force from January 1, 2009 , because of stiff opposition from Indian cricketers, who were firmly backed by their board (BCCI).

The contentious clause requires cricketers in the common testing pool to furnish details of their whereabouts three months in advance to the anti-doping authorities. But the Indian players have rejected the clause, saying it's a violation of their fundamental right to privacy and poses a security threat.

Subsequently, the ICC had decided to "suspend" the "whereabouts" clause until concerns of the Indian players were sorted out.

However, Lorgat was quick to brush aside Howman's ultimatum.

"I'm not sure that's what he said. In fact he was very complimentary about the progress cricket has made in terms of doping. He is very much with us in terms of putting something specific for cricket," said the ICC Chief Executive.

BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty seemed to concur with Lorgat.

"I am confident that it will be sorted out. There is no argument between WADA and the ICC," he said.

Shetty proceeded to give some details as well.

"There was a meeting held in Dubai wherein the BCCI, ICC and WADA participated and discussed the various problems regarding the clause and the probable solutions, like a cricket specific whereabouts clause," he explained, adding, "The ICC has had several discussions with the various cricket boards since this meeting and the latter have agreed to put up a plan for WADA, something that would be acceptable to both the parties, sort of a practical solution."

However, till that 'practical solution' arrives there won't be curtains to the ICC-WADA drama.

Bikash Mohapatra Mumbai