DOPING IN SPORTS

BCCI got it wrong, it does come under Nada: Here’s why it has to comply with dope-testing rules

What is the road ahead for National Anti-Doping Agency after BCCI has rejected the proposal to allow testing in cricket?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has rejected the proposal of the National Anti-Doping Agency that it be allowed to do testing in cricket at the national level as stipulated in the World Anti-Doping Agency Code and the International Cricket Council rules.

Given the stand the BCCI had adopted on this issue through the past eight years, the latest posturing by the cricket body has not come as a surprise.

From the communication that the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has addressed to the Nada Director General and the Union Sports Ministry, it becomes clear that the Board has been under the mistaken belief that a sports body has to be a Government-recognised National Sports Federation in India for Nada to have any testing authority in that sport.

“At the very outset it is necessary to clarify that the BCCI is not a national sports federation but an autonomous sports organisation affiliated to the ICC, which governs the game globally,” Johri has written.

BCCI does come under Nada jurisdiction

It is true the BCCI is not a recognised National Sports Federation. But within the rules of the Nada and those of the ICC and Wada, the BCCI does come under the jurisdiction of Nada. A sports body in India need not be a government-recognised federation for a Wada-affiliated National Anti-Doping Organisation to exercise its authority over it.

A Nado has the primary authority to adopt and implement anti-doping rules at the national level as per the Wada Code. It also has authority to collect samples, manage test results and hearings at the national level.

The rules of India’s Nado, which is Nada, define a national federation as: “A national or regional entity which is a member of or is recognised by an International Federation as the entity governing the International Federation’s sport in that nation or region.”

Note here: there is no mention that a national federation is required to be a recognised body of the government of India. Once it is established that it is a body recognised as the one governing the particular international federation’s sport it comes under the jurisdiction of Nada.

What do the ICC rules have to say about a national federation?

“A national or regional entity which is a member of or is recognised by the ICC as the entity governing the sport of cricket in a country (or collective group of countries associated for cricket purposes).”

So, the assumption that the BCCI can escape the legal status of Nada, in terms of its right to test in cricket at the national level, cannot simply be based on the argument that it is not a national sports federation. Different countries have different nomenclature to describe a national sports federation. That should not mean they can avoid being subject to the Wada rules even as the concerned international federation is a Code signatory.

It is up to the Wada to determine whether the ICC is Code-compliant when a major unit of that international federation, with enough clout to swing practically any decision in its favour because of its overwhelming financial superiority, has defied the national anti-doping authority.

No cricket federation has forbidden their Nado

Just because the BCCI has a “robust” dope-testing mechanism or because it is the national cricket federation that does the maximum number of tests every year among all the ICC affiliates or it follows the ICC anti-doping code (though in considerable breach), an argument cannot be put forward to say that the existing arrangement is adequate and there is no room for Nada.

In the pre-2009 phase in India, when Nada was yet to come into existence, every national federation, at least in Olympic sports, had its own anti-doping testing arrangement, in collaboration with the Sports Authority of India. It might not have been as “robust” as that is being claimed by the BCCI of its own programme, but just because of the availability of such an arrangement, neither the Government of India nor the Wada allowed any concessions to these national federations.

Between 2001 and 2008, the national federations in non-cricket sports handled around 300 doping cases in India and many of the athletes were penalised either with fines or suspensions though the Delhi laboratory, at that time, was yet to be accredited.

Since the Wada Code came into existence in 2003, the definition of a National Anti-Doping Organisation has remained the same: It is the primary authority to manage anti-doping measures at the national level.

Some of the ICC member units do have rules that allow a role for themselves at the national-level anti-doping management. But so far there is no information that any country’s cricket federation has forbidden that country’s Nado from carrying out its functions if such a body was in existence.

If the BCCI has been following Wada’s International Standards, as had been claimed in the letters, so has the Nada been since its inception. The national agency is supposed to follow them since it is signatory to the Code, which the BCCI is not.

What could be the road ahead?

After having taken a firm stand, the Sports Ministry seems to have climbed down in recent days. Its letter to the Vinod Rai, chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, pointing out a communication from the Wada, has been responded to by Johri.

In that letter, the ministry had reportedly told the BCCI that its non-cooperation may result in the Wada declaring Nada as “non-compliant”. The BCCI response, it has been emphasised, was under the “instructions of the Supreme Court-appointed CoA”.

Will the ministry which directed Nada DG Navin Agarwal, to go ahead with dope-testing of cricketers in domestic competitions, back off at this stage?

If it does, it will be a letdown of sorts and it can give ideas to other national federations. Indeed, a majority of the other federations, if not all of them, are dependent on the Government for financial support unlike the cash-rich BCCI that is ostensibly trying to protect its players from the intrusive “whereabouts” rules that may require players disclosing their residential addresses. But money should not dictate policies or adherence to international conventions and treaties.

The Ministry can approach the Supreme Court since the CoA has supposedly approved the BCCI response to the Government, with the plea that it has a responsibility to follow the Wada Code not just as a signatory to the Code but also as a signatory to the Unesco Convention against Doping in Sport 2005. The Convention requires signatories to take appropriate measures to facilitate anti-doping efforts at the national and international levels “consistent with the principles of the Code”. The Government can seek a directive from the Supreme Court to the BCCI to fall in line with the arrangement followed world-wide.

The courts have ruled that when private bodies perform public functions, Government has the right to intervene and enforce its regulations.

The Gazette notification of 31 December 2008 states:
““F. No.21-4/2008-ID-In pursuance of the setting up of the National Anti-Doping Agency (Nada) vide Cabinet decision dated 15-12-2004 as an Apex authority in the field of Anti-Doping in Sports in the Country and in terms of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) code, the Government of India hereby notifies the Nada Anti-Doping Rules framed by (Nada) India laying down the conditions for Athletes and Athletes support personnel for participation in sports events as also the manner of collection of samples for dope tests, management of Test Results and conduct of hearings at national level. These Rules will come into effect from 1st January 2009 and will apply to the whole of India.”  

It says “anti-doping in sports in the country”, not particular organisations or federations.

If a legal recourse is not being taken, Nada can recommend to the Ministry to de-recognise BCCI as a sports body controlling cricket in the country. Even if there is no “recognition” as such granted to the organisation by the ministry there is always a ‘de facto’ recognition that helps the BCCI in several areas outside financial assistance.

Nada and the Ministry can also write back to Wada to state that the BCCI is not within its control nor dependent on Government funding and it would be up to the ICC to take appropriate measures when the BCCI has completely ignored the “ICC template” for national federations.

There are 58 references to NADOs in the ICC template for national federations anti-doping rules. The BCCI rules have none. Yet, the ICC feels the Indian Board has followed its template. And the BCCI argues that it had been following the ICC rules all these years.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Making two-wheelers less polluting to combat air pollution in India

Innovations focusing on two-wheelers can make a difference in facing the challenges brought about by climate change.

Two-wheelers are the lifeline of urban Asia, where they account for more than half of the vehicles owned in some countries. This trend is amply evident in India, where sales in the sub-category of mopeds alone rose 23% in 2016-17. In fact, one survey estimates that today one in every three Indian households owns a two-wheeler.

What explains the enduring popularity of two-wheelers? In one of the fastest growing economies in the world, two-wheeler ownership is a practical aspiration in small towns and rural areas, and a tactic to deal with choked roads in the bigger cities. Two-wheelers have also allowed more women to commute independently with the advent of gearless scooters and mopeds. Together, these factors have led to phenomenal growth in overall two-wheeler sales, which rose by 27.5% in the past five years, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Indeed, the ICE 2016 360 survey says that two-wheelers are used by 37% of metropolitan commuters to reach work, and are owned by half the households in India’s bigger cities and developed rural areas.

Amid this exponential growth, experts have cautioned about two-wheelers’ role in compounding the impact of pollution. Largely ignored in measures to control vehicular pollution, experts say two-wheelers too need to be brought in the ambit of pollution control as they contribute across most factors determining vehicular pollution - engine technology, total number of vehicles, structure and age of vehicles and fuel quality. In fact, in major Indian cities, two-thirds of pollution load is due to two-wheelers. They give out 30% of the particulate matter load, 10 percentage points more than the contribution from cars. Additionally, 75% - 80% of the two-wheelers on the roads in some of the Asian cities have two-stroke engines which are more polluting.

The Bharat Stage (BS) emissions standards are set by the Indian government to regulate pollutants emitted by vehicles fitted with combustion engines. In April 2017, India’s ban of BS III certified vehicles in favour of the higher BS IV emission standards came into effect. By April 2020, India aims to leapfrog to the BS VI standards, being a signatory to Conference of Parties protocol on combating climate change. Over and above the BS VI norms target, the energy department has shown a clear commitment to move to an electric-only future for automobiles by 2030 with the announcement of the FAME scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India).

The struggles of on-ground execution, though, remain herculean for automakers who are scrambling to upgrade engine technology in time to meet the deadlines for the next BS norms update. As compliance with BS VI would require changes in the engine system itself, it is being seen as one of the most mammoth R&D projects undertaken by the Indian automotive industry in recent times. Relative to BS IV, BS VI norms mandate a reduction of particulate matter by 82% and of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 68%.

Emission control in fuel based two-wheelers can be tackled on several fronts. Amongst post-emission solutions, catalytic converters are highly effective. Catalytic converters transform exhaust emissions into less harmful compounds. They can be especially effective in removing hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and carbon monoxide from the exhaust.

At the engine level itself, engine oil additives are helpful in reducing emissions. Anti-wear additives, friction modifiers, high performance fuel additives and more lead to better performance, improved combustion and a longer engine life. The improvement in the engine’s efficiency as a result directly correlates to lesser emissions over time. Fuel economy of a vehicle is yet another factor that helps determine emissions. It can be optimised by light weighting, which lessens fuel consumption itself. Light weighting a vehicle by 10 pounds can result in a 10-15-pound reduction of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Polymer systems that can bear a lot of stress have emerged as reliable replacements for metals in automotive construction.

BASF, the pioneer of the first catalytic converter for automobiles, has been at the forefront of developing technology to help automakers comply with advancing emission norms while retaining vehicle performance and cost-efficiency. Its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Mahindra World City near Chennai is equipped to develop a range of catalysts for diverse requirements, from high performance and recreational bikes to economy-oriented basic transportation. BASF also leverages its additives expertise to provide compounded lubricant solutions, such as antioxidants, anti-wear additives and corrosion inhibitors and more. At the manufacturing level, BASF’s R&D in engineered material systems has led to the development of innovative materials that are much lighter than metals, yet just as durable and strong. These can be used to manufacture mirror brackets, intake pipes, step holders, clutch covers, etc.

With innovative solutions on all fronts of automobile production, BASF has been successfully collaborating with various companies in making their vehicles emission compliant in the most cost-effective way. You can read more about BASF’s innovations in two-wheeler emission control here, lubricant solutions here and light weighting solutions here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of BASF and not by the Scroll editorial team.