BCCI begins dope tests on players


The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has finally woken up to the doping menace around the world and marked the introduction of dope tests in domestic cricket at the just-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy.

The random dope testing was conducted by a team, led by Dr Vece Paes. The tests were conducted during the knock-out stages of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Visakhapatnam.

It will now become a regular feature in domestic cricket across all formats and the BCCI has hired an international company — International Dope Tests and Management (IDTM) — for the whole procedure.

The BCCI has often made its reservations clear about fully complying with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.

The whereabouts clause has been a sticking point for the Board.

As expected, the BCCI has completely kept the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) out of picture but the samples will be tested at the National Dope-Testing Laboratory (NDTL) in the Capital.

The BCCI has not given NADA the authority to conduct dope testing which itself is against the WADA code. Article 5.1 of the WADA code says: "Subject to the jurisdictional limitations for in-competition testing in article 15.1, each National Anti-Doping Organisation shall have testing jurisdiction over all athletes who are present in that National Anti-Doping Organisation’s country or who are nationals, residents, license-holders or members of sport organisations of that country.”

The BCCI has instituted a panel that will look into the positive cases and besides there will be an appeals panel that will look into the players’ grievances.

"We have started conducting dope tests in domestic cricket and it will be a regular feature from here on,” BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty told Mail Today. "Dope tests were done during the Indian Premier League (IPL), but it is a first for domestic cricket. The procedure will be on the lines of the agreement reached out between the ICC and the WADA,” Shetty added.

Paes has been overseeing dope testing procedures for the BCCI in the IPL and the Champions League T20 for the last five years. Abhijit Salve and Dr PSM Chandran are also assisting Paes and all of them returned from Visakhapatnam, where Delhi beat Assam in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, only on Sunday after conducting the tests.

"We started conducting dope tests during the knock-out stages of the Vijay Hazare Trophy and there are other domestic tournaments lined up this season where we will have more such tests,” Paes told MAIL TODAY . "The NADA is not involved here but the process is very similar.

There is a standing committee which studies the whole process and then a tribunal will decide on the sanctions if a player is tested positive.

"The players have every right to appeal against the sanctions, and for that the BCCI will have an appeals panel. The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) is always there and the players are free to go there as well if they want,” added Paes, who was part of the Indian hockey team which won bronze at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

After the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the team of dope control officials head to Guwahati for the knockout stages of the Deodhar Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy later this month.

"We have been conducting dope tests in the IPL and the CLT20 for the last five years and so far there haven’t been any positive cases.

"The samples are being tested at the NDTL and there is an international company that the BCCI has hired to assist in the whole process. We have a team of dope control officials and Dr Abhijit Salve is also there to help me in administering the process,” said Paes.

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