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BCCI CEO Writes to Anti-Doping Body Seeking ‘Way Forward’ After Testing Lab’s Suspension

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which reluctantly came under the ambit of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) earlier this month, have shot off a letter to the doping agency seeking explanation how National Dope Testing Laboratory’s (NDTL) accreditation will affect the collection and testing of cricketers’ samples.

Devadyuti Das |August 24, 2019, 5:08 PM IST
BCCI CEO Writes to Anti-Doping Body Seeking ‘Way Forward’ After Testing Lab’s Suspension

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which reluctantly came under the ambit of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) earlier this month, have shot off a letter to the doping agency seeking explanation how National Dope Testing Laboratory’s (NDTL) accreditation will affect the collection and testing of cricketers’ samples.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) took the decision to suspend NDTL’s accreditation for the period of six months due to non-conformities with International Standard of Laboratories (ISL) as identified during a site visit. The suspension is a setback to India’s anti-doping movement with less than a year left for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

"It has come to our attention through media reports that NDTL has been suspended by WADA for a period of six (6) months owing to ‘non-conformities with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) as identified during a WADA site visit’. We request you to kindly let us know how this suspension will affect samples collected by NADA at BCCI domestic cricket tournaments,” BCCI CEO Rahul Johri wrote in a letter to NADA director general Navin Agarwal, a copy of which is in possession of CricketNext.

“Since NDTL is unable to test the samples of all cricketers, what is the way forward to ensure a strict chain of custody and timely analysis of all samples,” the letter read.

The BCCI had for long strongly resisted coming under the ambit of NADA even though their samples collected by International Dope Tests & Management (IDTM) of Sweden was tested at the NDTL.

Johri’s letter comes after sports secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya told reporters that the agency has met its initial target of collecting 3,000 samples for the year, which casts doubt on how many samples they will collect during BCCI’s domestic season.

The NADA can get the samples tested at an overseas WADA-accredited lab and Bangkok seems a feasible cost-effective option at the moment. The cost for testing these samples in Bangkok is going to certainly increase if they are sent overseas.

The national anti-doping agency have a limited budget of around Rs 8 crore when it comes to the anti-doping program. With the additional burden of testing Indian cricketers, it remains to be seen how NADA will handle the burden.

The anti-doping agency had earlier claimed that they will begin testing cricketers by collecting samples at the on-going Duleep Trophy in Bangalore.

However, the NADA Dope Control Officers (DCO) have not come for the first two Duleep Trophy matches and it is to be seen if they come for the remaining two games (including final).

Also BCCI's domestic events will continue till March and the suspension of NDTL continues till February 20.​

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