The pressure has intensified on the BCCI to comply with National Anti-Doping Association (NADA) after Prithvi Shaw’s positive drug test that led to a backdated suspension of eight months. The sports ministry of India has written a stern letter to the BCCI questioning its authority and its protocols in matters of dope tests, the Indian Express reported. The letter was written days before the Shaw matter came to light but gains further significance in light of the handling of the issue.
Shaw was tested in February, his results returned positive in May, but he earned an eight-month sentence in July, half of which was retrospective. During that period, Shaw had played the IPL and the T20 Mumbai League.
Refusing to work with the government agency NADA, the BCCI is the exception in the world of cricket: every other country complies with its national anti-doping body, which in turn complies with the world body, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It is understood the BCCI has communicated to the ICC and WADA that it doesn’t trust NADA. Its argument to NADA has been that the BCCI is not a national sports federation, which doesn’t bring it under the ambit of the government agency.
The BCCI, in its report, said it was convinced Shaw had taken the banned substance terbutaline inadvertently when he took a cough syrup. However, almost presciently, the sports ministry of India asked BCCI questions the world is now asking after the Shaw incident, the biggest being the conflict of interest involved. The letter said that in cases of positive tests, NADA forms an independent panel that has no “prior involvement” with the parties involved.
“BCCI mechanism for adjudication in the event of positive dope result is not in accordance with the principles of natural justice,” the ministry has told the BCCI. “BCCI as an interested party and also the appointing authority for the appointment of officers, tribunal members or appellate authority for adjudication.”
The letter also questioned the BCCI’s authority. “Article 5.2 of WADA code provides for sampling of athletes only by an anti-doping organisation with testing authority. It is a matter of fact that the BCCI is neither an anti-doping organisation with testing authority under WADA code nor it can acquire such a status,” the letter said.
The BCCI does send the samples to the WADA-accredited National Drug Testing Laboratory (NDTL) in Delhi, which also does the testing for NADA.