New Delhi: In an interesting move sports ministry has ordered the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to conduct dope tests of cricketers in future during domestic and international matches organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

NADA has been handed the “full authority and powers” to send its ‘dope control officers’ to collect in-competition blood and urine samples of the cricketers.

“I have instructed NADA’s director general (Navin Agarwal) to send his DCOs to cricket tournaments in India to collect the samples of cricketers. If the BCCI resists or creates any hurdle in NADA’s functioning, we won’t hesitate from taking further action against the cricket board,” secretary sports Rahul Bhatnagar was quoted as saying by the Times of India

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“We will first start with in-competition testing during matches played in India. Then, we will gradually move forward (to conduct out-of-competition testing). If the BCCI has not responded to NADA’s previous emails, doesn’t mean we (ministry) will stop discharging our duties. Let them first stop us from conducting dope tests. We will see what more needs to be done. The important thing is we will conduct testing within our parameters and rules and regulations as stipulated in the WADA Code,” Bhatnagar added.

The report further states that the ministry would drag BCCI if need be. “BCCI is a public body. It’s true that it doesn’t take any financial grant from the ministry, but like any other national sports federation (NSF), it has to take permission to hold international tournaments and bilateral series. So, it can’t continue saying we won’t allow NADA to test cricketers, but engage a private international dope testing firm (IDTM) for sample collection,” the official said. 

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“We have to take this issue to its logical conclusion once and for all. For now, we are going ahead with the sample collection. We don’t want to become non-compliant to the WADA Code,” he added.

As per the report, NADA is likely to start conducting dope tests of cricketers in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season.