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Making a Promise – The Indian WADA

wadaNews fascinate me but the only news I’m hearing these days is that Deepika Padukone wants to tie a rakhi on Dhoni’s hand. As if we cared 😛 Talking about Rakhi, Rakhi Sawant the great ‘Bollywood’ drama queen is making news again, or should i say has been making the news for over a month for her controversial, so called reality show “Rakhi Ka Swyamvar”. The show had been in news for all the wrong reasons. Thankfully it ended with Rakhi choosing a Swayavar(a groom by choice?!?) but not without the drama she’s known for. “I’m planning a swayamvar 2” she said…

The only thing that didn’t make news was Indian Cricket! How were our players going to miss out on their only chance to gather some air time? and They decided to not sign the long due WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) agreement claiming the seriousness involved with the ‘Whereabouts’ clause.

For over two days every single Indian sportsperson was interviewed. Abhinav Bindra was the most quoted on news and print media. “I’m an Olympic medalist myself. I’m equally popular with the people and I didn’t have a problem signing it specially because it ensures a dope free sport”. The latest members joining this group are Sania Mirza and Ace tennis star Mahesh Bhupati. Players from around the world were reported to have not agreed to the clause but eventually signed it because their sports were already a part of the Olympics and without a dope free certificate they would not have been allowed to participate. These players include, Roger Fedrer, Serena Williams and few football stars. So why did our cricketers deny it?

What is the “whereabouts” clause?

  • Every sportsperson under the WADA agreement is supposed to inform their directors or agents who represent the WADA about their whereabouts for one hour a day.
  • This information can be passed on via a written letter, a call with the representative or via email.
  • Information furnished is strictly confidential.
  • The representatives or agents can then conduct surprise dope test on the player at the given time and the given place.
  • Only two warnings are given to the players for not being in the place during that time, The players are however given a chance to explain the reason for missing it and the decision of warning purely lies in the hands of the representative associated.
  • If a player receives a third warning, he is known to have failed the dope test and is not allowed to participate in the event.
  • All this is to happen 90 days prior and post the event to ensure a no dope sport.

There it is, as simple as that. “It is ignorance of the WADA system which probably has led to such a decision. The BCCI and the cricketers have no idea about the rules and regulations and that is why they have created such a situation,” Dr Manish Chand, the Director of Dope Control for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Experts around the world are calling the decision taken by the player as silly and absurd. “When top sportsperson in the world have signed it, WADA should not make an exception for Indian cricketers. Somebody should educate the BCCI and the players about how the WADA system works.” He added.

The only reason that I see is the “failure” to understand the clause, or may be BCCI is at fault for not appointing chief commissioners from WADA to explain every single aspect of the contract. It shouldn’t be a problem for the cricketers to let know of one hour of their whereabouts to the agency as the information is strictly confidential. A board representative is allowed to give the whereabouts of the team when they are together.

I don’t understand BCCI’s decision to stay on the issue specially when it’s committed to ensuring a dope free sport. An example to which was suspending Mohammed Asif from IPL Season one for failing the dope test conducted by WADA. FIFA once had a problem with WADA, but eventually it had to give in and sign it. BCCI however is still standing on it’s decision and will review the same at it’s next board meeting. WADA on the other hand has decided to review it’s system in October, but a decision on changing the whereabouts clause shall remain the same because of it’s wide acceptability.

The decision has only irked controversy from sporting agencies around the world leaving ICC with a decision to enforce it on the BCCI or forget about any chances of making cricket a part of the Olympics in 2014. ICC earlier had announced making the ICC world T20 as a part of a Olympic event. What should have actually happened is that the players should have signed the contract first and should have raised issues later. Coincidentally WADA in Hindi translates to PROMISE in English, which is what seems to have confused the cricketers who didn’t want to commit to anything they were not sure of. However I do understand Harbhajan Singh not wanting to sign, the guy himself does not know his whereabouts, how is he supposed to furnish information on the same 😛

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Kunal Janu

PS: You’ll have to spare me on this one for the poor style of writing. Please ignore mistakes if any.

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  1. August 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Kunal,

    Nice recap of all the things happening on WADA front.

    I think BCCI has to finally give in because, ICC has the pressure to also go for including cricket in Olympics.

  2. Kunal Janu
    August 10, 2009 at 8:30 am

    @nihar..
    I know, but the questions still remain.. Indian cricketers refuse to sign the clause!

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