Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore today said BCCI could have ensured dope testing of the Indian cricketers by NADA but put the onus on WADA to make the Indian Board compliant of its Code. Rathore made the comments when he was asked about the BCCI’s strong response that National Anti-Doping Agency has no jurisdiction to conduct dopes tests on Indian cricketers. “I am glad that cricket is getting dope control done through an outside agency. But when the entire sports bodies of the country and also of some other countries are trusting our National Anti-Doping Agency, the cricketers can also do that,” Rathore said. “However, we leave it to the World Anti-Doping Agency, it is their prerogative. As the ICC is registered under the WADA, they have to abide by the doping standards. So, it is upto the WADA to ensure that they can dope test the cricketers,” he told reporters at the sidelines of the Delhi Half Marathon. The minister said the question of the dope-testing of Indian cricketers can be sorted out. “We don’t have any issues with that (issue) specifically, we have many more sports to take care of and we are proud of all the sports,” he said. In a stern response to National Anti-Doping Agency, the BCCI had said that government body has no jurisdiction to conduct dopes tests on Indian cricketers.
In a letter written on November 8 to NADA chief Navin Agarwal, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri had made it clear that there is no requirement for NADA to tests its cricketers since the board is not a National Sports Federation and its present anti-doping system is robust enough. Talking generally about doping in sports, Rathore said, “For us three things are very important, players, coaches and the fans. When doping happens, the fans are cheated. So every organisation need to ensure that there is no cheating in their sport and cricket is no exception.”
Rathore was also asked about two-time Olympic-medallist and comeback man Sushil Kumar, who won a gold in men’s 74kg freestyle competition of the National Wrestling Championship after three rivals gave him a walk over, but the minister said the issue was not in his domain. “Everyone has the right to come back to the sport and especially Sushil has given so much to the sport. The way the events are conducted is not in my domain,” he said. “There is a federation for it that takes care of it. I am sure the federation is well aware and very fair and equal to all.”