New Delhi: Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the Sports Minister of India, said the government had no problem with the International Cricket Council (ICC) getting the Team India players tested by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) as it was registered with the global watchdog.
Rathore’s comments came after the WADA on Saturday reportedly rejected the Board Of Control For Cricket In India’s (BCCI) contention that the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) has no jurisdiction to conduct dope tests on cricketers since the board was not a National Sports Federation (NSF) and its present anti-doping system was aligned with WADA.
“For us there are three people that are very important — the players, coaches and fans. And when doping happens the fans are cheated and fans see sportspersons as icons and inspirations,” Rathore told reporters here on the sidelines of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.
“Doping cheats the fans of their belief and therefore it is incumbent on every sports body to ensure that there is no cheating happening in sports.
“Cricket is no exception. I am glad that cricket is getting their dope control done through an outside agency but when the entire sports bodies of the country are trusting the National Anti Doping Agency, the cricketers can also do that.
“However, we leave it to the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), it is their prerogative as the ICC is a member of it.”
The Athens Olympics silver medallist, however, made it clear that his ministry has no problems with the cricketers being tested by WADA.
“When the ICC is registered under WADA, then they have to abide by the doping standards and it’s upto WADA to ensure they get the cricketers dope tested and where they do it can be sorted out. We have no issues with that specifically,” he said.
The WADA is currently at loggerheads with the BCCI over the continued refusal of Indian cricketers to submit themselves to the drug testing regimen that is followed by all global athletes.
The global body’s intervention comes after an audit of NADA’s anti-doping programme in April found that the BCCI does not recognise NADA’s authority and neither does it permit any anti-doping regime in cricket.
The BCCI has stringently opposed the WADA drug-testing of Indian cricketers due to the “whereabouts clause”.
The clause states players have to inform the ICC at the beginning of every quarter of the year, a location and time that they will be available for an hour each day for testing. (With IANS inputs)