Team India stars Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja are three of the five Indian players who been issued notices by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for failing to disclose their whereabouts. Along with Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul and Jadeja, women team’s stars Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma are the other two cricketers who are among the five cricketers in the 110 strong National Registered Testing Pool (NRTP).
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, has cited password as the reason for delay behind submitting the players’ whereabouts.
NADA DG Navin Agarwal confirmed that BCCI has sent an official explanation for their five NRTP players’ failure to submit whereabouts.
“There are two ways to fill up the whereabouts form in the ADAMS (Anti Doping Administration &Management Systems) software. Either athlete does it himself or the association fills it up on his or her behalf, Agarwal told PTI.
“Now athletes in some disciplines aree’t educated enough or do not have access to the internet and find themselves unable to handle the whereabouts clause of the ADAMS or upload the filled up form.
They use assistance from their concerned federations. So federations have accepted responsibility for uploading their whereabouts” he added.
Agarwal further said cricketers too at times find it tough to complete the process on their own, stating: “Similarly in cricket also, although these people are well qualified and they can do it, perhaps they don’t have the time for whatever reasons, so the federation concerned, the BCCI has taken upon itself the responsibility of uploading their whereabouts.&”
When asked the reason behind the delay from BCCI, he said:
“Well they have given an explanation which appears to be reasonable but a decision will be taken. They have said that there has been a glitch with regards to password in ADAMS. Now they have said that issue has been resolved.”
While the country has been under lockdown, 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.
Meanwhile, questions are being raised over BCCI’s explanations. Password glitch is not a big issue and thus a number of eyebrows are being raised. As per the report in PTI, a BCCI veteran, who has been privy to cricket operations, asked why the five cricketers were not told to upload the form themselves.
“This was a lockdown period where they are not living out of suitcases. Some of the names have also engaged in multiple instagram chats and podcasts which their agents are managing,” he said.
“If the cricket operations team were having a glitch in fixing passwords, well the five cricketers could have been asked to do so and they would have done it individually with some guidance. Probably NADA would be lenient this time but if it becomes an official warning, then who’s responsible,” he added