Time for ICC to give final push on `whereabouts` clause: WADA
New Delhi: The World Anti-Doping Agency on Tuesday said it`s time for the ICC to give the "final push" and convince its member boards, including BCCI, to accept the vexed `whereabouts` clause by November 2011, failing which it would be declared non-compliant to the WADA code.
WADA director general David Howman, who is here to attend the seventh Asia/Oceanic Region Intergovernmental meeting on anti-doping in sports, said even though ICC has done a great job to keep away doping from the game, it is time for cricket`s governing body to give the final push.
"We don`t set deadlines. Being a signatory, we expect the the ICC and cricket to remain committed to the WADA Code. The ICC has done a lot in the last three years, now they just need to give the final push," Howman told reporters.
"The ICC is responsible for its member boards. ICC`s job is to ensure that member boards comply with the WADA Code. We are going to have our next review in November 2011 and by that time if ICC fails to convince its member boards to comply with the Code, we will declare them non-compliant in our report to the International Olympic Committee. We don`t have the purview to take actions against any non-complaint member, it is IOC and respective Olympic Council`s prerogative," he said.
Even though ICC is a signatory to WADA Code, it has not implemented the "whereabouts" clause, which came into force from January 1 last year, because of stiff opposition from Indian cricketers, backed by their cricket board (BCCI).
The contentious clause requires cricketers in the common testing pool to furnish details of their whereabouts three months in advance to the anti-doping authorities. But the Indian players have rejected the clause, saying it`s a violation of their fundamental right to privacy and poses a security threat.
Subsequently, the ICC had decided to "suspend" the "whereabouts" clause until the concerns of the Indian players were sorted out.
But Howman said the clause never infringes on an athlete`s privacy.
"More than 13,000 athletes are giving their whereabouts, so it is not a big deal. There are no constitutional problems, no breach of privacy but I will be more than happy to engage in discussion with cricketers," he said.
"We will ask BCCI to liaise with the National Anti-Doping Agency to form an anti-doping programme fit for India. (Former captain Anil) Kumble is a member of WADA and understands the rule. He is not concerned by it," he added.
Asked whether India would be barred from participating in this year`s Asian Games in Guangzhou, where cricket in the form of Twenty20 would make its debut in the multi-sport extravaganza if the stand-off continues, Howman said, "It will be Olympic Council of Asia`s decision."
NADA director general Rahul Bhatnagar said even though cricketers are subjected to dope tests during tournaments, the BCCI is yet to provide them the list of players for testing pool.
"We have been asking the BCCI since last year but they are yet to give us the list of players.”
"We don`t have statistical informations on cricket but it is known fact that sports which require energy for short duration is prone to doping," he said.
Joint secretary in the Sports Ministry, Injeti Srinivas said, "Dope testing laboratory have so far tested 1400 samples out of which 200 belongs to cricketers. In-competition testing is carried out and the BCCI sends the samples to laboratories."
Howman claimed that underworld elements were promoting doping in sports and WADA is working closely with the Interpol to stop the menace.
"The easy availability of naturally-occurring growth hormone EPO (erythroprotein) from the black market and over the internet is a challenge before the WADA. The underworld is also involved in this because it is easy money and is not illegal. We are working with the Interpol to stop this trafficking," the WADA director general said.