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Why the BCCI refuses to come under the jurisdiction of India’s National Anti-Doping Agency

Cricket in India
Friday, 01 February 2019 By Aahna Mehrotra, Aastha Kothari

This article analyses the reason why the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is refusing to come under the ambit of the National Anti-Doping Agency of India (NADA). In doing so, it considers the peculiar position that the BCCI occupies as the apex body of cricket in India, and the implications of their decision. Specifically, its examines:

  • The background to the situation

  • The BCCI’s arguments for why it is not governed by NADA

  • The particular issues over the whereabouts requirements

  • Potential sanctions for non-compliance

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Written by

Aahna Mehrotra

Aahna Mehrotra

Ms. Aahna Mehrotra is a Partner at TMT Law Practice. She was called to the Bar in May, 2011 and has gained considerable exposure through her experiences at different institutions worldwide.

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Aastha Kothari

Aastha Kothari

Counsel, AM Sports Law and Management Co.

Ms. Aastha Kothari is a counsel at AM Sports Law and Management Co. since May, 2018. She did her schooling from St. Xavier’s School, Jaipur and secured her bachelor’s degree in law from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata in 2018.

During her years at law school, she did her internships at the Law Offices of Nandan Kamath, Bangalore, Star India Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, AZB & Partners, Mumbai and Surana & Surana International Attorneys, Chennai, thereby gaining experience in various fields like Sports Law, Media and Entertainment Laws and Policy, Intellectual Property Laws and Corporate Laws.

Her core areas of interest are Sports Law, Media and Entertainment Laws and Intellectual Property Laws. She has so far been involved in assisting in the setting up of various leagues. She regularly engages in transactional work and advises clients on various rules and regulations for conducting the leagues. Being a national level football player herself, Aastha has seen the difficulties faced by female athletes in a less popular sport in India. She wishes to make a difference by her contributions in the legal field and bringing in awareness and education about anti-doping in the lesser-privileged sections.

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Comments (1)

  • Karayi Mohan

    • 07 February 2019 at 16:56
    • #

    The issue is not whether BCCI has money to conduct tests or to pick the best lab in the world. It is a question of submitting itself to the jurisdiction of the NADA (NADO India) as per the WADA Code and as per the ICC anti-doping code. The ICC has given a special status to the BCCI, that the latter need not be under the authority of the NADA. This is in breach of the Code. This is what WADA has taken up with ICC. Cricket simply cannot be considered Code-compliant, should be declared so by Compliance Committee and consequences should follow.
    The WADA Code compliance procedures have nothing to do with any understanding that BCCI might have with NADA or Govt. The International Federations and NADOs and Major Event Organizations are signatories to the Code and not National Federations like BCCI. WADA deals with them and not NFs. The disciplinary process has to be against these bodies if and when compliance is not met even after warnings. ICC has in the past been penalized for non-compliance.
    WADA cannot allow a particular National Federation in a sport to have a system of its own, outside the rules laid down in the Code and its International Standards. Thus allowing the BCCI to pick its lab, to manage its disciplinary procedures etc are irrelevant and will be in violation of the Code.
    Any agency collecting samples on behalf of an anti-doping authority is doing just that, collect samples. It doesn't have either the authority to decide who should be tested or which tournament should be under doping control. It also does not have the authority to conduct 'results management' beyond the initial processes. Sanctions are solely the prerogative of the Testing Authority, in this case BCCI, which should be the NADA if rules are followed.
    BCCI's refusal to join the mainstream is based on the mistaken notion that the privacy of the players would be intruded into. Dope-testing is intrusive; whereabouts testing more so. If professional tennis, golf and football players can be brought under the ambit of testing by authorized agencies there is no room for any exception to cricket or only to Indian cricketers.
    Financial clout of the BCCI should not mean it can frame its own anti-doping rules and refuse to come under NADA. If the Government of India becomes stricter and enforces anti-doping rules as accepted by NADA and as required to be followed under UNESCO Convention, this posturing by BCCI would vanish. For that the Sports Ministry has to accept that compliance to the NADA rules is a necessity dictated by the Code and not a convenience as per the financial position of a particular National Federation or its willingness to test in accredited labs.


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