Virender Sehwag becomes first Indian cricketer in NADA's Anti-Doping Panel
What's the story?
Former opening batsman Virender Sehwag has become the first Indian cricketer to be included in any panel belonging to National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). Apart from the swashbuckling right-hander, erstwhile Delhi batsman Vinay Lamba has also been appointed in the Anti-Doping Appeals Panel (ADAP).
Weight-lifter N Kunjarani Devi, who had bagged a silver medal in the 1999 World Championships, gained entry into the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP). The appointments were part of a major revamp approved by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The presence of two cricketers, including a decorated national icon, brings a new twist to the stand-off between Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and NADA. The Indian cricket board has been quite vocal in its opposition to the contentious whereabouts clause and has prevented the anti-doping agency from collecting samples of the cricketers.
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The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, led by MOS (independent) Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, had recently ordered NADA to conduct dope tests on cricketers featuring in both domestic as well as international competitions. Bracing for interference from BCCI, the Indian Ministry gave NADA complete authority on the issue.
Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel
Chairman - Kuldeep Singh (retired district and sessions judge)
Members - Manik Dogra (advocate), Nalin Kohli (advocate), Bina Gupta (advocate), Surbhi Mehta (advocate), Dr Vinod Dogra, Dr Ankit Sharma, Dr Sumita Gupta, Dr Chengappa Rajpal, Reeth Abraham, Akhil Kumar, N Kunjarani Devi, Jagbir Singh and Colonel (Dr) Sanjeev Kumar
Anti-Doping Appeals Panel
Chairman - Justice (retired) RV Easwar
Members - Vibha Datta Makhija (senior advocate), Dr Naveen Dang, Dr Harsh Mahajan, Virender Sehwag and Vinay Lamba
Parallels from history
N Kunjarani Devi's inclusion in the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel comes across as a massive surprise as she herself was suspended for a doping offence during the 2001 Asian Championships in South Korea. The weight-lifter, who had served a six-month suspension for testing positive for strychnine, will now be a part of the committee which is expected to deliver verdicts in doping-related cases.
Even though the menace of doping has not affected cricket (relatively speaking) thus far, the inclusion of two cricketers in the Anti-Doping Appeals Panel is certainly a welcome move. In particular, the presence of former Team India batsman Virender Sehwag is a discernible sign that BCCI and NADA are now looking to work together.