Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday said bringing the Board of Control for Cricket in India under the ambit of National Anti-Doping Agency ranked as one of his biggest achievements since assuming his new office three months ago.

The BCCI was forced to come under NADA’s ambit, a landmark development that has opened up the possibility of the cricket board becoming a National Sports Federation as per government norms. Asked whether it was one of the biggest achievements of his tenure as sports minister, he responded in the positive. “Definitely,” he said.

Rijiju added: “BCCI is the governing body of cricket and cricket is also a sport. So, all the sports law and sports provisions prevalent in the country is applicable to it. So failing to implement the law cannot be taken forward in a logical way.

“But I am very particular that every sport, every game and every player in this country is equal. It was a natural course of action and it’s good that it happened, otherwise it would sound little vague that only one game is outside the ambit of the sports rules.”

The implication of BCCI coming under NADA is huge as the country’s richest sporting body is now under tremendous pressure to fall under the government’s Right to Information Act.

The BCCI has been refusing to come under RTI, claiming that it is not a NSF as it doesn’t take any grant from the government. But the sports minister said it is just a matter of time before the BCCI comes under the RTI.

Rijiju said: “Government’s money is people’s money. So that statement doesn’t matter. How is the money coming to BCCI?

“BCCI’s argument is without any basis. Money belongs to the country. How does money comes to a sport? From the people. They watch TV, people pay for tickets or through advertisements; it is people’s money.

“It is from the people that the money is available to the body. People’s money, whether is from the government or directly collected from the government, the value remains the same. It is very important for every organisation to function in a transparent and accountable manner. It’s not a question of cricket or any federation.”

Rijiju also said that the National Sports Code is key to good governance in sports and the government is soon going to come up with a robust code.

“The National Sports Code is very important law which will govern the sports administration in this country. We must have a system. If you want to have a robust sports culture in the country then you must have a robust system also. A robust sports code or rule or guideline has to be there.

“I think very soon we should be able to come out with a very clear cut sports code which would be an improved version of the earlier code.

‘Working towards getting NDTL suspension revoked’

India is working towards getting the suspension on National Dope Testing Laboratory revoked in two months, Rijiju said. Rijiju’s comments came soon after he made an extensive visit to the laboratory in the presence of National Anti-Doping Agency Director General Navin Agarwal and NDTL Scientific Director PL Sahu.

“No doubt it is a setback but I just visited the laboratory and had a detailed review and we will take urgent corrective steps which are technical in nature. We will manage.

“It shouldn’t take six months, we will get it revoked in two months. We will make an appeal and we have already started working in our case.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency suspended the NDTL’s accreditation for six months in a massive blow to the country’s anti-doping programme, which had left the sports ministry surprised as it had claimed WADA’s concerns were duly addressed.