New Delhi, August 18
The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) will start testing the players registered with the Indian cricket board (BCCI) during the next Duleep Trophy game in Bengaluru. NADA has agreed to BCCI’s demands for qualified medical practitioners (doctors) as Lead Dope Control Officers (LDCO).
While NADA is not expected to test any players during the ongoing game between India Blue and India Green in Bengaluru, there is a possibility of carrying out a few tests during the next game, which starts on August 23. BCCI has handed NADA the full itinerary of the domestic games for the season so that NADA could prepare its cricket testing calendar.
Docs for BCCI
The BCCI’s anti-doping officer cleared the air about how exactly the Board would “pay extra” (differential cost, as said by CEO Rahul Johri) to ensure highest standards are maintained during testing.
Dr Abhijit Salvi, head of BCCI’s anti-doping unit, said: “What we have requested is that we would like DCOs assigned for BCCI tests to be registered medical practitioners (MBBS) with knowledge of anti-doping.” This would involve higher costs, but BCCI is willing to pay for it.
However, NADA has only 16 MBBS practitioners contracted with it, and there are questions over whether NADA could always have qualified doctors available as DCOs for all BCCI assignments.
Currently, there are 111 empanelled contractual individuals with NADA, including LDCOs, DCOs, Blood Collection Officers (BCOs) and Chaperones.
In the list of 111, there are only 16 registered doctors, all designated as LDCOs. Out of those 16, 12 are based in Pune and four are residing in Thiruvananthapuram.
But would MBBS doctors be willing to collect samples from cricketers? An official familiar with NADA’s functioning asked: “Why will qualified doctors be interested in urine sample collection of cricketers just because BCCI is ready to pay the differential costs? It’s a simple thing. Do qualified doctors visit our homes to collect samples? So why will this be any different for BCCI?” — PTI
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