WADA, BCCI to meet on 'whereabouts clause'

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/b/bcci.jpg' class='caption'> WADA Director-General David Howman will be in India this week to address the BCCI concerns on the vexed &quot;whereabouts clause&quot; of the new WADA code.

Updated: November 17, 2009 12:20 IST
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World Anti-Doping Agency Director-General David Howman will be in India this week to address the BCCI concerns on the vexed "whereabouts clause" of the new WADA code.

Howman said the International Cricket Council has made "remarkable progress" as far as anti-doping measures were concerned and BCCI's objection to the new code was the lone hiccup which he was confident of solving during his Wednesday meeting with the Indian cricket administrators.

"In the last 18 months they've (ICC) got rules, they've done testing, they're doing out-of-competition testing so in that brief period of time they have done a heck of a lot. The only hiccup they have had is the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) has said they are not comfortable with this 'whereabouts' requirement," Howman said.

The WADA official pointed out that the Indian government was one of the early signatories and if the code is now construed as unconstitutional, as the BCCI had claimed, it would put the government in an unenviable position.

"They have given a number of reasons and I am going to talk about them with them on Wednesday. Some of their concerns include an allegation that it is unconstitutional in India.

"Well India signed onto the code as one of the first countries. The Indian Government is compliant so if there is part of India that is not compliant that is embarrassing for the government, particularly with things like the Commonwealth Games coming up," Howman told www.sportal.co.nz.

Bowman defended the code, pointing out that 13,000 international athletes had no qualms sharing their whereabouts regularly into the WADA software system, which he felt, was a 'pretty good indicator' that the system was working.

The WADA official also dismissed notions that sharing the whereabout in advance would jeopardise players' security.

"I don't have access to that (athlete) information, so that shows how strong we are about it. We have four people in our organisation who have access. They have all been through full security, police checks and the like. So from my point of view there is nothing more that we can do," he said.

"The whole system is good, the individuals receiving the information are secure and when the player puts this information in, the access to the information is restricted to those who need it, which would be us and the ICC. Nobody in India," he said.

The Indian cricketers rejected the whereabouts clause which requires them to give details of their location three months in advance for out of competition testing. BCCI also backed the players, saying the clause infringes on their privacy and puts their security at risk.

While other cricket boards supported BCCI on the issue, incidentally the Sports Ministry made it clear that the Indian Government was committed to the global anti-doping laws and fully accepts the new WADA Code, including the contentious "whereabouts" clause.

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