August 4 - M S Gill (pictured), India's Sports Minister, has criticised the refusal of the country's top cricketers to follow the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) drug testing rules.



The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given their blessing to players who did not accept the whereabouts clause of the WADA code, saying it infringed on their privacy.


The clause requires players to detail their whereabouts for an hour between 6.00am and 11.00pm every day for the next three months to allow random out-of-competition testing.

Gill said: "We [India] have accepted WADA regulatory testing and we adhere to it.


"Sportspersons should be clear in one thing, that it is not getting into someone's life.


"All sportspersons should adhere to it and happily follow it, as so many sports federations and players are following it."


Olympic shooting gold medallist Abhinav Bindra also urged the cricketers to accept the code, saying the clause was "no big deal" and that they risked the chances of the sport expanding globally - including getting Twenty20 cricket into the 2020 Olympics - if they continued their stance.

India's first-ever individual Olympic champion said: "They should just accept it and get on with life.


"I think it is all due to a lack of understanding.


"But if cricket wants to become a global sport and fight the menace of drugs, they must agree to the WADA code.

"I have been part of the code for a few years and it is no big deal."

India's top players are the only ones in world cricket, a non-Olympic discipline, who had not signed the WADA documents by the August 1 deadline set by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

According to WADA rules, anyone missing three doping tests over 18 months faces a ban of up to two years.


Britain's Christine Ohuruogu was banned for a year in 2006 after being unavailable for a series of tests before returning to win the world and Olympic 400 metres titles.


Shashank Manohar, the President of the BCCI, said: "We have no problem with the testing, but we have a problem with the system of testing players.


"We have decided to write to the ICC about the concerns raised by the players.


"The BCCI agrees with the players that the system of testing is unreasonable.

"The Sports Minister has got his personal view on the subject but we at BCCI have taken a position which ensures what is promised in the Indian constitution,"


Nine Indian male and two female players were registered for dope testing by the ICC, both during tournaments or random out-of-competition.

The male players in the list are Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan and Munaf Patel.

Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj are the two women players in the list.

The ICC, responding to India 's stand, said the matter will be discussed by the governing body's Executive Board to "find a way forward".