In a stern response to India’s anti-doping body National Anti-Doping Agency, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has said that a government body has no jurisdiction to conduct dope tests on the Indian players.

In a letter written on November 8 to Nada chief Navin Agarwal, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri stated that there is no requirement for the local doping body to tests its cricketers since the board is not a national sports federation and its present anti-doping system is robust enough. “It is relevant to mention here that BCCI is not a National Sports Federation. Accordingly, Nada does not have jurisdiction to conduct dope testing of Indian cricketers in any domestic or international event organised or under the aegis of BCCI,” Johri said.

“In light of the aforesaid, there is no requirement for any BCCI official to co-ordinate with Nada for dope testing of Indian cricketers either during competitions or out of completions.”

Earlier, Rahul Bhatnagar, secretary, ministry of youth affairs and sports, had told the Indian Express that they had ordered Agarwal to conduct dope tests during cricket tournaments – international and domestic.

BCCI’s response was prepared with instructions from Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators. Besides responding to the Nada chief, Johri also wrote back to the sports secretary, who had approached the BCCI in October to cooperate with Nada.

The Ministry had stated that lack of co-operation from BCCI on the subject may run the risk of Nada not complying with World Anti-Doping Agency Code. Johri said BCCI’s existing anti-doping mechanism is robust enough.

“The BCCI already has a robust dope testing mechanism which is employed for both during competitions and out-of- competitions and the testing of samples by IDTM is already being done at Wada accredited laboratory under aegis of the Sports Ministry.”

He also went on to claim that the BCCI is compliant with the Wada Code: “You will appreciate that for analysis and testing of samples, BCCI adheres to the Wada International Standard of Laboratories and the Wada International Standard for Testing and Investigations.

Accordingly, the BCCI has engaged the services of same expert sample collection agency that is also engaged by the ICC to prove sample collection services, International Doping Tests and Management (IDTM). The IDTM sends the collected samples for testing to a Wada accredited laboratory viz, National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), as mandated by Wada. Since the CEO of NDTL is sports secretary, the dope testing for BCCI is conducted under the aegis of the Sports Ministry,” Johri wrote.

Johri reasoned that since BCCI is an autonomous body affiliated to the International Cricket Council, it is only required to operate within the rules and regulations of the ICC.