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National Anti-Doping Agency slams BCCI for non-cooperation

June 02, 2010 17:50 IST

The National Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday lashed out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India for its "non-cooperation" and asked it to make sure its players fall in line with the WADA code.

NADA director-general Rahul Bhatnagar said it is baffling to see BCCI rope in a Swedish company to conduct dope tests for cricketers as the national anti-doping body could have done the same job at a lesser cost or even for free.

"The BCCI never sought the assistance of NADA to conduct dope tests. They have engaged a company – International Doping and Test Management (Sweden) -- at a heavy cost to conduct dope samples, which NADA could have done at much lesser cost or free of cost," Bhatnagar said.

"It is surprising why BCCI is maintaining such a no-cooperation attitude with NADA," he added.

NADA is the national agency for conducting dope tests, collecting samples and results management of athletes, and Bhatnagar said the body wants the cricketers to fully comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) codes, along with the 'whereabouts clause' against which the cricketers are up in arms.

"NADA is strongly of the view that cricketers must fully comply with all anti doping regulations of WADA and NADA, as all other sportspersons do. They are no exception and the rules apply to them equally. BCCI should ensure such compliance," he said.

Even though the International Cricket Council is a signatory to the WADA Code, the BCCI is spearheading an opposition to the vexed "whereabouts clause" which requires a player to inform, three months in advance, their availability for dope tests.

WADA has already issued an ultimatum to the ICC saying they have to ensure that BCCI accepts the WADA Code in totality, failing which the world cricket governing body would be branded non-compliant.

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 said in Mumbai 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," he said, brushing 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.

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