How NADA will work with cricket
Like any other discipline, NADA will have a Registered Testing Pool (RTP), comprising top players, and they will be subject to both in-competition and out-of-competition tests.Updated: Aug 10, 2019 15:45 IST
In cricket, says NADA’s Director General Navin Aggarwal, the physiological advantage gained by doping may not be as high as in some Olympic disciplines like weightlifting and track & field, but it will be treated as “high risk” sport due to other factors, like the high financial rewards the sport offers.
“A certain number of tests are required and that too at the right time,” Aggarwal said.
Like any other discipline, NADA will have a Registered Testing Pool (RTP), comprising top players, and they will be subject to both in-competition and out-of-competition tests.
“A test distribution plan will be chalked out soon,” added Aggarwal.
During in-competition, players are notified and tested immediately after the competition, while out-of-competition testing can be done at any time and any place. Players under the RPT are required to provide “whereabouts” information, including details of training venue and home address for testing, and the information is revised every three months. Players have to provide a one hour window for testing every day, and failure to furnish the right information can invite sanction. Change in training venue or competition needs to be notified in advance. Three missed tests within a 12-month period could mean a suspension for four years.
Since the national team is selected on the basis of domestic performances, NADA’s emphasis would be on major national level tournaments like the Ranji Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. The IPL too is designated as a domestic tournament.
The sports ministry had recently made it mandatory for all National Sports Federations (NSFs) to have dope tests at the state level too, and NADA may have to implement that for cricket as well. But given the fact that NADA has a backlog of cases to deal with, and often fail to clear cases within a stipulated time of three months from the date of provisional suspension, it will be a challenging task for them to deal with this new, and high-profile addition to their responsibilities.
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Aggarwal says that these concerns were raised, but the finer details will be worked out in coming days.
“There is no issue of lack of manpower or budget,” he said.
On the other hand, cricketers too would have to keep themselves updated of the prohibited substances that are revised annually by WADA.
WADA code clearly states that athletes are responsible for any prohibited substance found in their body, irrespective of whether they took it unintentionally. The defence of not knowing if a substance the player ingested was on the banned list is not considered tenable.
If the players are required to take medicine that come under the banned list on medical grounds—like inhalers for those suffering from asthma, for example—they need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). In 2018-19, NADA had given TUE to 18 players from 15 disciplines, including athletics and badminton.