What is the way to guarantee the timely analysis of the samples? BCCI asks NOTHING

NEW DELHI: CEO of the Control Board of Cricket In India ( BCCI ), Rahul Johri, has written to the Director General and Executive Director of the National Anti-Doping Agency ( NOTHING ), asking for clarity in the continuous struggle between them and the World Anti-Doping Agency ( LOVE ) The international organization has suspended the National Drug Testing Laboratory (NDTL) for six months.

In the letter, accessed by IANS , Johri has written: "It has come to our attention through media reports that NDTL has been suspended by LOVE for a period of six (6) months owing to "non-conformities with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) as identified during a LOVE site visit".

"We request you to kindly let us know how this suspension will affect samples collected by NOTHING at BCCI domestic cricket tournaments. Since NDTL is unable to test the samples of our cricketers, what is the way forward to ensure a strict chain of custody and timely analysis of all samples."

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) had on Friday said that not only have they taken note of the turn of events with regards to LOVE suspending NDTL in the Capital for a period of six months, but also that the committee was looking at the options they have as NDTL can't test samples anymore.

As per the suspension policy, NOTHING is still allowed to collect samples from sportspersons, but the tests can't be done at NDTL and need to be done at a LOVE -accredited laboratory. NDTL was the only LOVE -accredited lab in the country.

An area that the BCCI will have to look at is that the suspension took effect on August 20 and will end on February 20 - unless it is challenged - and as per the domestic calendar, most of the BCCI domestic tournaments will end by then .

The development came as a big blow and LOVE made it clear that the lab is to be blamed for the suspension.

"This suspension has been imposed due to non-conformities with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) as identified during a LOVE site visit," the world agency said in a press release.

The suspension, which entered into force on August 20, 2019, prohibits the NDTL from conducting anti-doping activities, including all urine and blood sample tests.

"During the period of suspension, samples that have not yet been analyzed by the NDTL; samples currently undergoing a confirmation procedure; and any samples for which an Adverse Analytical Finding has been reported, must be securely transported to another LOVE -accredited laboratory," LOVE said in its release on Thursday.

LOVE also clarified that the NDTL can appeal the decision in the Court of Arbitration for Sports "within 21 days of receipt of notice".

Interestingly, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju announced his discontent and said the suspension would be contested.

"There were some issues in the past. After taking over as sports minister, I have taken cognizance of those issues and a course correction has been initiated. It is disheartening that despite these efforts, LOVE has taken this stance. We will appeal against this ban and the process of appeal is already underway," he said.