Doping tussle: WADA to take action as ICC, BCCI up in arms

As the International Cricket Committee (ICC) continues to fail to convince the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) to comply with the country’s National Anti Doping Agency (NADA), the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has begun the procedure to label the world cricketing body non-compliant in its revised ‘code’ of signatories.

The WADA had set October 4 as the deadline for the ICC to convince the BCCI to fall under the ambit of the NADA and make its cricketers available for doping samples. The BCCI, till date, has a private agency on board for doping related activities and clearances, which does not seem to fit well with the ICC. It is mandated by the WADA that all international sporting agency members fall under government authorized and affiliated institutions.

If the BCCI does not comply with the NADA, the ICC’s plans to push for cricket to be included in future Olympics and Asian Games could be dented. After the matter is reviewed by the CRC, the case may be referred to the WADA’s Executive Committee, which can take the call to even disaffiliate the ICC as its member nation.

However, the ICC’s other planned big-ticket events such as the ICC Test Championship, T20 and ODI World Cups and the Champions Trophy will remain unaffected if the WADA labels the ICC non-compliant.

Meanwhile, the BCCI’s CoA (Committee of Administrators) has evaded the question of taking a call on whether to comply with the NADA or not, instead saying that it will be “prudent” if the state-associations take a call on it, and not the committee led by Vinod Rai. As of now, all of the ICC’s full member nations including South Africa, England and Australia have complied with their respective national anti-doping agencies, while “Afghanistan is an exception because of reasons that are beyond the reach of their cricket board,” according to a TOI source, who added, “In BCCI’s case, they want to be an exception because India’s NADA too is an exception given the global standards.”

WADA has said that the case will be referred to its independent ‘compliance review committee’ (CRC), expected to meet in Lausanne early next year.