CHENNAI: The sports ministry is in no mood to accede to the Indian cricket board’s (BCCI) demand that it would follow National Anti-Doping Agency guidelines on a ‘trial basis’. The sports secretary was quite firm on the ministry’s stand and said the board should comply with the NADA code, like any other sports federation.
The BCCI has been insisting that it would follow the NADA guidelines only on a trial basis and with quite a few riders like it will involve external agency IDTM to collect samples because the BCCI doesn’t approve NADA’s sample collection methods. The board has also said that it has its own terms and conditions for the NADA to follow. It said that the whole procedure would be reviewed after a period of six months.
Sports secretary RS Julaniya was quite lucid while explaining the ministry’s position, saying there is no concept of a ‘trial basis’ and a rule is a rule for everyone.
“The ministry is quite clear. There is no concept of ‘trial basis’. Rules and regulations are not negotiable. They apply to all,” said Julaniya.
The ministry is clear that there is no question of choice or any room for negotiation.
“The country is governed by law. Everyone is equal before the law and it is applicable to everyone. Rules and regulations are framed by the government. And they are not at anyone’s discretion to follow,” said the secretary.
However, the ministry is open for discussion, if there are ‘genuine concerns’. It is learnt that BCCI Chief Executive Officer Rahul Johri is reaching New Delhi to meet Julaniya on Friday to discuss the issue.
“Yes, if there are genuine concerns and the BCCI feels something needs to be addressed, we can discuss,”
“If concerns are genuine, we can see how it can be resolved within the framework of the rules. That’s all.” However, the ministry is clear that it would not let the interest of other athletes and sports suffer.
The issue of following NADA guidelines has been plaguing the BCCI for quite some time. Even the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had been insisting quite firmly to make BCCI follow its code.
The board, however, has been conveniently avoiding. Not until teen sensation Prithvi Shaw failed a dope test for a specified substance and the BCCI handed him a ban from a convenient back-date so that his eight-month ban gets over by November 15.
One rule for all
The ministry also believes that since India is a signatory to the WADA Code, all sports in the country should be governed by either the international or the domestic anti-doping code. In India it is NADA. The ministry had written a letter on June 26 to the BCCI to fall in line, as it is not the competent authority to collect samples or test them.
The ministry also believes the result management must be done by an independent organisation. Interestingly, during a July 6 meeting of the Committee of Administrators, officials felt there was no need to send a reply to the ministry’s letter.
The reason BCCI gave for the lenient penalty on Shaw was that he “inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance (terbutaline), which can commonly be found in cough syrups”, something that did not go down well with those who follow sport very closely.