It is no secret that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Sports Ministry don't see eye to eye and it has been learnt that days before the whole Prithvi Shaw fiasco unfolded, the government had come down heavily on the Indian cricket board and its anti-doping set-up.
According to a report in Indian Express, the Sports Ministry wrote a letter to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and said that its anti-doping programme lacked robustness and also mentioned conflict of interest since the BCCI does the testing itself and hands out punishment accordingly.
It added that the BCCI does not have the right to conduct dope tests on players as it is not authorised by the government or the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA).
"Article 5.2 of WADA Code provides for sampling of athletes only by an Anti-Doping Organisation with testing authority. It is a matter of fact that BCCI is neither an anti-doping organisation with testing authority under WADA Code nor it can acquire such a status," the letter that was sent on June 26 read.
The BCCI has continued to argue with the government and avoided signing up with the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) for a long time now. BCCI's unwillingness to comply despite all other sports and sportspersons in the country following the rules chalked out by NADA has made matters worse.
BCCI's stance has always been that NADA has its flaws and that is why they do not want to sign up with the agency. They also feel that since the BCCI is not a government-funded organisation, it cannot be subjected under NADA’s jurisdiction.
"The claim of BCCI having a robust mechanism to ensure Indian cricket is clean and free from doping is not based on facts. In 2018, 215 samples were sent by BCCI to National Dope Testing Laboratory, India, for testing. Of these, 5 tested positive. There is no information as to how these athletes who tested positive have been dealt with," the letter further added.
The Sports Ministry also questioned BCCI's approach towards dealing with doping cases as it doesn't comply with WADA rules, which NADA follows as well. The general rule followed by the world body is that an independent panel is formed that has no "prior involvement" with the concerned parties. BCCI, on the other hand, appoints its own panel.
"BCCI mechanism for adjudication in the event of positive dope result is not in accordance with the principles of natural justice. BCCI as an interested party and also the appointing authority for the appointment of officers, tribunal members or appellate authority for adjudication," the letter read.
The report in Express also adds that Johri met the Ministry officials in July and was told that the BCCI will have to agree to NADA rules and the cricketers will be provided no special treatment.