Bringing BCCI under NADA is big achievement for me, says Sports Minister
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, on Monday, said bringing the Board of Control for Cricket in India under the ambit of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) is one of his biggest achievements since assuming his new office three months ago.
The BCCI was earlier this month 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 (NSF) 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.
"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," he said in an exclusive interview.
"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," he added.
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 (RTI) 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.
"Government's money is people's money. So that statement doesn't matter. How is the money coming to BCCI?" he questioned.
"BCCI's argument itself is without any basis. Money belongs to the country. How does money comes to a sport? From people only, people watch TV, people pay for tickets or through advertisements, it is people's money."
"From people only 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," he added.
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," he said.
"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."
We are working towards getting NDTL suspension revoked in two months: Rijiju
India is working towards getting the suspension on National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) revoked in two months, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday, expressing confidence after initiating a slew of corrective measures.
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," Rijiju said.
"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.
Stating that the NDTL is one of the best dope testing facilities in Asia, Rijiju said it was disheartening for the WADA to take such a decision after the Indian lab had begun a "course correction" of the issues faced by it "in the past".
"The NDTL has been an issue for sometime. When I assumed responsibility of sports minister I came to know that WADA has raised certain questions and served a notice on the NDTL. So I told my officials to look into the matter," he said.
"But before we could take corrective steps they suspended us. What I have seen is there were issues in the past, but most of them have been resolved and there are certain things which are yet to be done.
"But it is very unfortunate that when we were doing corrective steps and nearing solution of all the issues, this suspension decision has come," he added.