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Players' Associations share Indian concerns on WADA clause

August 05, 2009 16:32 IST

The players associations of South Africa and New Zealand share the Indian cricketers' privacy and security concerns with regard to a WADA anti-doping clause, but insist that rules are same for all and no special exemption can be made for them.

"We think that the Indian players have genuine security concerns regarding whereabout filing under the code and ICC needs to deal with these. However, all other players, including South African players, are currently complying with the whereabouts provisions," South African Cricketers' Association CEO Tony Irish said.

"If BCCI continues to reject the whereabouts provisions then we would expect ICC not to enforce these against players from other countries," he added.

Irish's views were backed by New Zealand Players Association CEO Heath Mills, who said even the Black Caps had reservations about the 'Whereabouts Clause', which requires cricketers to disclose their location three months in advance for out-of-competition dope tests.

"We don't particularly like the whereabouts regulation either but we are obligated to follow it and all WADA rules since the ICC adopted the WADA Code a few years ago. The WADA Code is now part of all ICC and Member boards rules and regulations to which the players must follow," Mills said.

"The situation with the Indian cricketers is interesting. We support the concerns they have about the new regulation. However, we also shouldn't have some players in the sport of cricket operating under different rules to others as that isn't fair. The ICC should have everyone operating under the same rules," Mills added.

On whether the BCCI's refusal to accept the code would lead to a showdown between the Indian Board and the ICC, Irish said the bigger fall-out would be the setback to the anti-doping campaign in cricket.

"The fall-out of this confrontation is obviously that the whereabouts provisions, and the ability to properly test out-of-competition will be negated, not only in India but in other countries. This may seriously hamper ICC's anti-doping efforts. Cricket needs to have credible anti-doping regulations.

"The players international body, FICA (of which SACA is a member), has already told ICC that if Indian players are allowed not to comply then other players should be treated in the same way," he added.

Mills said all the players' associations would be meeting in September to discuss the contentious clause.

"There is a meeting of a number of World Player Associations in London in early September which FICA (Tim May) will be attending. WADA will also attend the meeting and will be discussing the whereabouts requirements for those who participate in team sports. Through Tim May we will be tabling our concerns at this meeting," he said.

"It would be good if the Indians had a players association like in other countries and all other sports as the players could raise issues about this sort of thing more easily and at least have a representative group to act on their behalf," he added.

Irish, meanwhile, said the South African players would continue to comply with the code.

"At this stage we are advising SA players to continue to comply with the whereabouts provisions but if a situation develops where ICC exempts Indian players or simply doesn't enforce it against them then we are likely to seek similar treatment for our players. These types of decisions will be taken in consultation with FICA," he said.

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