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BCCI facing questions from the ICC over its non-alignment stand against National Anti-doping Agency

ANALYST
News
161   //    12 Jul 2018, 15:43 IST

Press Conference Of BCCI To Declare India's Test Team Against England
From a recent BCCI Press Conference

What's the story

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had recently taken a resisting stand against coming under the purview of the National Anti-doping Agency (NADA). By involving in what seems to be a very controversial and doubt-generating move, the board has now started facing serious questions from its International counterpart, the ICC.

The heart of the matter

BCCI's CEO Rahul Johri, various bearers of other office positions, and the legal team of the board are widely reported to have participated in a recent meeting which was also classified as "urgent". It is believed that the recent rows between ICC and BCCI over above-mentioned anti-doping stands might have been the reason that catalysed the move.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) that the Supreme Court of India has appointed so as to look into certain administrative aspects of the BCCI, is overseeing the developments in the cricket board as of now.

Sources hint that Mr. Johri has briefed that CoA on certain "new and urgent issues" on the anti-doping policy of both BCCI, and that of the ICC that in turn comes as a consequence. CoA chairman Vinod Rai is thought to believe that the issues in mention have "long-term implications" and that the views of office-bearers need to be taken into account so as to fixate at a future policy.

A senior official from NADA has also reportedly confirmed the recent happenings, adding that the national and international cricket boards have been in talks with both NADA and WADA over the past couple of months. He also informed that the agency had held separate talks with ICC chairperson Shashank Manohar and WADA head Oliver Niggli.

In case you didn't know...

The tug-of war between BCCI and NADA had been going on since the previous year. It all began when the anti-doping agency demanded that the Indian cricketers also need to be dope-tested in accordance with laws laid down by them, to which the cricket board responded in the negative. Mr. Johri had then made a written statement to NADA chief Navin Agarwal which explained how neither the BCCI nor the Indian cricketers came under NADA's rulings.

He had reasoned that the Indian Cricket board was not a National Sports Federation (NSF) and that they were an independent organisation, which also had a non-porous anti-doping system. All these events transpired on November 8, 2017.

This, in turn, brings out another clash-of-interest between the BCCI and the ICC, as the latter have agreed to collaborate with the World Anti-doping Agency on testing international cricketers for doping with compliance with WADA's rules. With ICC doing so, BCCI comes compliant to WADA norms despite being on disagreement with its Indian subordinate.

NADA had also reportedly tried to reinstate efforts to dope-test Indian cricketers in April 2018, after their move on November 2017 failed. This time, they had the green signal from the national Sports ministry as well.

With BCCI still not relenting, the ICC and WADA were notified, and the world anti-doping organisation even warned the ICC of sanctions, as it is the latter's power to make children-boards comply to anti-doping measures, especially the full-member nations. The threat made ICC reach out to the BCCI, and that is when issues started developing again.

What's next

The NADA official who spoke to various media have enabled the external world to establish that the latest meetings and discussions have bore fruit to some extent. Hence, it might not be long before the BCCI withdraws its stand against NADA and agree to comply with its norms.

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