Cricket board plans testing regime
Indian cricket board causes a stir with announcement for own drug testing system.
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2009 13:17 GMT

ICC officials, left, meet BCCI's Ratnakar Shetty and N. Srinivasan to discuss the WADA issue [AFP]
India's national cricket board have announced their intentions to introduce their own drug testing system for domestic players from next year, according to local media reports.

The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) are currently under fire for rejecting the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) "whereabouts" clause.

The cricket board has stirred a controversy after backing national players on Sunday over their refusal to sign up to the clause, which requires them to inform their whereabouts on a daily basis for three months in advance.

Privacy concerns

"This year, the BCCI will first educate every association about dope testing," chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty told Indian daily The Indian Express.

"We can't just issue templates of WADA and expect them to read it. The language used by WADA is difficult to understand, so we'll be hiring experts to give lectures on this," he said.

Other major cricketing nations have signed up to the WADA rules, but the influential Indian board says its players have privacy and security concerns and tests should not be done during the off-season.

The board and players have faced sharp criticism even from within the cricket-mad nation, with sports minister Manohar Singh Gill urging them to "happily" accept the WADA rules.

According to the Press Trust of India, tennis stars Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza asked Indian cricketers to shrug off all apprehensions about the "whereabouts rule" and commit to signing on the dotted line.

"I have been doing the 'whereabouts' this entire year. I think if the system allows for those who abuse it to be caught we should go with it," Bhupathi told PTI.

"Lots of the tennis players had apprehensions early but we are all doing it," Bhupathi said.

The BCCI feels cricket, seen as a low-risk sport for doping but due to make its debut in next year's Asian Games, needs its own set of rules.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has referred the Indian stand to its board.

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