New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seems to have taken the burgeoning doping incidents in sports with grave concern with the execution of dope tests in domestic cricket during the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy.
According to a Mail Today on Monday, the dope tests were conducted during the knock-out stages of the 50-over competition in Visakhapatnam and were led by Dr Vece Paes. Abhijit Salve and Dr PSM Chandran assisted Paes - father of Indian tennis star Leander - in the procedure. The report claims that tests will now become a "regular feature" in domestic cricket across all formats and that the BCCI has gone forward to hire an international company - International Dope Tests and Management ( IDTM) - for the entire procedure.
The BCCI has kept the National Anti- Doping Agency (NADA) out of picture but the samples will be tested at the National Dope-Testing Laboratory ( NDTL) in New Delhi. "We have started conducting dope tests in domestic cricket and it will be a regular feature from here on. 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," the BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty was quoted as saying by Mail Today.
Added Paes: "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. 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 ( AS) is always there and the players are free to go there as well if they want.
"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," he added.
A standing committee has been created to study the whole process and a tribunal will take the required calls if a player tests positive. After the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the committee is heading to Guwahati for the knock-out stages of the Deodhar Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy later this month.
The BCCI has been conducting dope tests in the IPL and the Champions League Twenty20 for the last five years and so far there have not been any positive cases. In the past, the BCCI has often shown reservations about fully complying with the World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) code. The whereabouts clause is a sticking point for the board.
Is it a right step by the BCCI to adopt dope tests policy in domestic cricket?