CHENNAI: In the end, there wasn’t any resistance. Even though those in charge of the BCCI were claiming that Friday’s meeting with the Union Sports Ministry got more to do with getting clearance for the South Africa women and A teams, there was pressure on the cricket board to come under the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) code.
And when the D-Day arrived, the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, who was summoned by sports secretary RS Julaniya, came with all the necessary documents including an undertaking that the board will come under the NADA code. Without any trials or conditions.
As reported by TNIE, the ministry was not in any mood to relent. Even though the BCCI tried to negotiate over the past week, it soon got the message that there was nowhere to go.
“At the outset, we would like to state that BCCI is currently functioning under the supervision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). The CoA chairman and members are committed to ensure that the BCCI conforms to all the rules and regulations notified by the Govt of India,” Johri wrote in his letter to Julaniya, which was accessed by TNIE.
“The CoA has a policy of zero tolerance towards issues of doping in sports and in particular, all cricket-related activities. Hence, BCCI would like to align its anti-doping policies and procedures in accordance with the law as framed by the government. It is also committed to being compliant with ICC and WADA norms,” Johri wrote.
While this ends BCCI’s decade-long resistance, contrary to speculations, this doesn’t make it a National Sports Federation (NSF). While such a tag would mean greater ramifications, considering that the ministry is also pushing for all NSFs to come under a uniform Sports Code, experts felt that since the BCCI doesn’t receive funding from the government, it has a strong case.
“Them coming under the NADA umbrella doesn’t mean they have become an NSF. There is still a long way to go for that. But with this move, the BCCI gets to become even more transparent and they can be counted among those being professionally run. About not becoming an NSF, the BCCI can always say that they don’t receive any direct funding from the government,” sports lawyer Vidushpat Singhania said.
The ministry’s continuous push was also made easy by the fact that unlike the past, the BCCI doesn’t have any of its old guards and is run by a Supreme Court-appointed panel. While there are still issues to be sorted with regards to the players’ whereabouts clause, which had been a bone of contention, it has been reliably learnt that the BCCI had even reached out to the Indian team which is currently touring the Caribbean.
“The team was apprised of this last week and they have informed the BCCI about the clarifications they needed. Beyond that, there was nothing from the players’ end as they too are aware of anti-doping protocols,” sources in the team said.
While it also opens up arguments in favour of the BCCI coming under the domain of RTI, that possibility looks far-fetched at the moment considering the legalities that are surrounding it.