Sports Ministry bows to BCCI, exempts cricketers from anti-doping rules

Sports bill

Bowing to the BCCI's objections, the Sports Ministry today decided to exempt cricketers from some World Anti-Doping Agency rules, including the contentious 'whereabouts clause', in the revised National Sports Development Bill.

Sports Minister Ajay Maken told a press conference here that the revised Bill has allowed the national bodies to follow the rules of their international federations which are in conflict with the WADA norms.

"In view of the BCCI's objections, we have decided to exempt cricketers from some anti-doping norms. The ICC does not follow some WADA norms and in these cases the rules of international federation, in this case the ICC, will prevail over the WADA Code," Maken said.

"It is not that the WADA code will not apply to cricketers but in those cases where there is conflict, the ICC rules will prevail. It is also not an exemption to BCCI, it is to the ICC," he said.

Last year, the ICC had decided not to follow the contentious 'whereabouts' clause of WADA, which required the cricketers to provide information of their availability for test for few hours in a day for three months in advance, on the objection of Indian cricketers and the BCCI.

The revised Bill, which will be re-sent to the Cabinet after it asked the ministry to rework on certain provisions, retained other contentious provisions including the age and tenure limitation of the Indian Olympic Association and National Sports Federations officials.

The offices of the Sports Ombudsman and the National Sports Development Council have been removed from the earlier Bill.

An exclusion clause has also been inserted in the Right to Information Act to protect certain information pertaining to selection and appointment of athletes and coaches, performance of an athlete and relating to health, fitness and doping issues.

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