In a major relief, India cricket stars Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma have been let off by the National Anti-Doping Agency. All the aforementioned cricketers were served notices by NADA for their failure to disclose their whereabouts details.
There was no sample collection during the lockdown phase but NADA had to follow the guidelines and sent notices to all those athletes who failed to submit their ‘whereabouts’ three months in advance. The BCCI, on its part, had cited password as the reason for delay behind submitting the players’ whereabouts.
While the country was under complete lockdown due to the pandemic, the rule to submit three months of whereabouts is mandatory. Three such failures to disclose leads to one Anti Doping Rule Violation (ADRV), which could lead up to two years of suspension upon hearing.
However, the recent failure from the players won’t be counted as a doping offence. NADA has let the cricketers off with a simple “warning” after accepting the BCCI contention that the board failed to provide the whereabouts due to the password glitch, according to The Times of India.
According to sources in NADA, the decision to let the cricketers off was arrived at in consultation with the (ICC), as well as the NADA’s own assessment of reasons provided by the board.
“They (cricketers, BCCI) had a genuine reason. We found their explanation cogent. The matter is closed. They will soon be formally notified,” Director GeneralNavin Agarwal told the news outlet.
Meanwhile, international cricket action across the world is currently at halt due to the pandemic. There has been no game since the ODI between Australia and New Zealand on March 13. International cricket will finally resume next month with the three-match Test series between England and West Indies.