Indian board complies with national anti-doping agency

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The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has shed its apprehensions about efficiency of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and will come under its ambit, a sports ministry official said on Friday.

The BCCI had concerns about the standard of NADA dope testing kits and had contracted an independent service provider for sample collection.

“They had two-three concerns,” sports secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya told reporters after his meeting with BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri.

“The first was quality of the dope testing kits. We assured them the kit we’re using is international standard and recognised by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).”

The cricket board asked for better kits and superior dope control officers, agreeing to bear the extra expenses.

The board has long been resisting the sports ministry’s move to bring it under NADA, though it continued to send samples to the same WADA-accredited laboratory in New Delhi. Julaniya said they could not make an exception for cricket.

“I explained to them that you don’t have a discretion, you don’t decide whether you’d follow the law or not. The law applies to all uniformly,” he said.

The pressure on BCCI to comply with NADA mounted after opener Prithvi Shaw tested positive for terbutaline and was handed a back-dated eight-month suspension on July 30.

The opener said it was ‘inadvertent’, ingesting the banned substance when he had used an over-the-counter cough syrup.

The ministry allayed BCCI’s fears about timely adjudication of positive cases, thus clearing decks for NADA to begin testing cricketers in India.

“NADA, as and when it wants to test, will carry out the tests like it does with all other athletes,” Julaniya said.

“The WADA code gives the authority to the national anti-doping agency to carry out all testing in its territory, irrespective of nationality of the athletes.” Johri said BCCI would abide by the law of the land.

“We have raised quite a few issues which the sports secretary said will be addressed by them,” he told reporters. “We have agreed to bear the differential cost of high quality testing.”