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WADA: Whereabouts are you ?

by RajaB

Sounds a simple question. But that exactly is the question our cricketers don’t want to answer

The reason, intrusion of privacy and fears of security.

Before we get to see in detail about what WADA is and what this clause is all about, let us talk about the two reasons our cricketers give for not signing-up with WADA.

Intrusion of privacy

When me or you sneak into a cricketers property or hack in to his bank account that might be considered intrusion of privacy. Imagine an enforcement agency like the Income Tax department wanting to do the same.

Is it intrusion of privacy ?

I think not, there is a difference between an enforcement agency and a stalker. WADA is a world body that culls dope out of sports. So they are like any enforcement agency you could think of, hence what they do is nothing but enforcement of a code of conduct and not invading a cricketers privacy when he's having a good time.

I fear for my life, what will happen to my security ?

WADA is a body recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and many governments all around the world. So I can't imagine them trying to sell their database to someone sitting in the Tora Bora mountains nor would they have a hotline with them. There are some stringent confidentiality clause / agreement that governs the WADA officials conduct.

So what is the fuss all about ?

The whereabouts clause.

Read more about the clause here

Let's quickly see what & why WADA came into existance the first place ?

Seoul Olympics 1988, 100m sprint

One classic shot any sports buff would remember vividly is that of Ben Johnson, the Canadian sprinter crossing the line with one arm up in the air and looking to his left to see where his nemesis Carl Lewis is placed. He broke the world record, for the second time in a matter of months.

His celebrations were shortlived, 3 days to be precise when newspapers announced that he has been caught doping. The world became familiar with anabolic steroids, performance enhancing drugs & in this case something called Stanozolol. That was when the sporting world woke up to this menace of doping.

WADA was formed a year later, in 1999 with some initial funding from the IOC. These days IOC along with many govenments world over fund the WADA. The first WADA anti-doping code was implemented in 2004, just before the Athens Olympics.

Here is a short video about WADA (Thanks to the WADA website)




Interestingly, there is a known name in the WADA Athlete committee, Mr Anil Kumble from India. So why don’t our demigods speak to him and know more about WADA and the whereabouts clause.

See what Abinav Bindra has to say about the whereabouts clause. So it is not as tough or as intrusive as our cricketers make it to be. It just requires some sportsmanship, like how Bindra explains the process.

“I hate pissing into a bottle

In the 90s when anti-doping regulations were introduced into sports, this is what John McEnroe remarked.

May be, he didn't have to, but his successors do. Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal might have reservations about the whereabouts clause but they still are signatories to the WADA regulation and get tested randomly.

Most of the top sportsmen and women are, aren't our cricketers sportsmen ?

17 comments:

straight point said...

sir

if other bodies dint had guts to stand (as q has also put it) that does not mean than bcci have no rights to object to it...

income tax department or any enforcement agency don't ask where you will be available for each hour a day for next three months...

when they need to enforce law they enforce it simple as that...and they don't enforce it without any tip-off that so and so is doing some illegal activity and if they do without any visible offense you can bring them to court...

why can't wada as bcci wants them to..give responsibility to home board to make it sure the sought after player is available within 24 hrs instead...?

why can't wada instead make their ground networking strong like police have (another enforcement agency) to get more reliable tip offs on suspecting individuals... to curb on dope then come up with these kinda codes...

what fun of having the codes when you know you can still play sports ala asif, shoaib, warne etc...?

why can't wada make doping more harsher punishment so that anyone who is caught doing it or thinking of doing it knows for sure that he will be gone forever...there by discouraging the very thought at the outset...?

why players who has been caught doping and are 'always positive' kinda guys still playing sports...?

Tararumpumpum said...

Indian cricketers believe they are God's gift to world sports and that nobody can touch them no matter what they do (Dheeraj K)

RajaB said...

@SP: Let me start from the bottom...

1) WADA is not an Enforcement agency per se !! It is actually an enabler of enforcement.

Let me explain... Once WADA finds A or B a dope. Then it is up to the individual sporting body to allow him to play or ban him and also decide on the length of the punishment.

If you remember when Asif & Akthar were let off WADA was the only one that made some noise, same with the case of Warne.

SP it also looks like you haven't understood what the whole issue is. I'm not blaming you here, but just trying to say that we are barking at a non existant tree !!

Tip off / suspects (and all those NYPD style stuff) I don't think you would ever be able to do these alone and succeed in controlling doping.

The issue we are discussing about is off competition testing. To do this you can't have undercover policemen (or WADA officials) who slip a bottle when a player wants to pee.

And the 24-hr thing is just another farce... If you tell me that only your cricket players are the ones who are most concerned about their privacy and all the other great sportsmen & women who adhere to the WADA regulations are idiots ? I would ask you to read the Indian Express article (Abhinav Bindra) and see that guys humility.

I also think that you have taken enforcement to your heart !! Dude in this case there are two kinds of things (1) Testing while competing (2) Testing out of competition. The problem our cricketers have now is on (2). There are no suspects in the sportsworld, there are a few black sheep.

Guts to stand up ?

As a rhetoric, yes it sounds as though you are talking about someone who's struggling for world peace. Let me remind you that what WADA does is to ensure a level playing field in sports.

Ideally, I would equate this to a income tax you pay (it is tough but you have to pay to ensure things like your roads etc. happen properly). Now I can decide to stand up and say I wouldn't pay or I might choose a hawala route to not pay. That is your choice. But it is a crime and you can't justify it or glorify it by calling it guts.

straight point said...

as wada official can not slip bottle under table do you think policemen stand with bullet proof jacket if one decided to shoot another...?

better networking means that you are more or less likely to spot person who is likely to do than others...thru various channels...

and if ultimately it will be left to respective home board to take action EVEN WHEN YOU DOPE...then why not leave it to home board at first place to make player availabe for out of competition...

what message is been given...?

that its ok to take dope and leave the dirty job of punishment to home board...but the same board cannot be trusted to make their players available...

joke isn't it...?

also do check this link

its not only india or bcci now...even australia and south africa boards have confirmed to support bcci...

http://www.cricinfo.com/ci-icc/content/current/story/417949.html

also do check responses of player association of ecb, australia, sri lanka, south africa, new zealands etc...

bcci have given then a stand and i wont be surprised more and more will join them who were silent till now for one pretext or another...

Megha said...

SP

how does the board know where the player is at all times? Would they not need the players' schedules then? Yeah, they can call the player on his cell, but what happens if the player cannot make it to wherever he is supposed to for the testing within 24 hours? At least with the whereabouts declaration, WADA can plan ahead as to where to send their officials.

straight point said...

let me put question to as answer to your quation megha...

how do wada know where the player is even if he has given where abouts but can not be contacted...?

exception will always be there for any situations...but at least the bcci one is more practical... :)

straight point said...

sorry about typos... :)

RajaB said...

@SP: Thanks for directing me to this story. But frankly tell me what is new ?? We knew this would happen once the BCCI takes that kind of a stand. I would ask you to read what PCA had to say a couple of days ago... And then read their statements here.

You seem to talk like a Rajeev Shukla now, very unlike you SP. I would still urge you to know more about WADA and the whereabouts clause. Please !!

straight point said...

sire i didn't called you morgan or john fahey for putting up this post...

we all are taking about our individual convictions and as you have put yours...i feel i have right to air mine...without giving each other names...

cheers!! :)

Megha said...

SP

uh..in WADA's case, if the player is not where he said he would be, it is a strike against him if he cannot explain the absence adequately. What happens if the BCCI cannot locate the player?

And why is the BCCI solution more practical? They have to make sure the player can be made available in the next 24 hours for testing, which is not always practically feasible. Whereas with the WADA clause, the officials go to the players, depending on where they are!

RajaB said...

@SP: You got me wrong there... Apologies if you thought I had called you names.

I just gave a colour to what seemed like a lopsided POV from a man whom I know has a balanced POV normally.

Apologies if I had hurt you.

Answering your question to Megha what if WADA can't contact a player after giving his whereabouts...

Each player gets three chances like this in a span of 18 months the third time he does it, then you can be banned for a certain period. I think this happened to Rio Ferdinand (the English footballer) or someone.

This is exactly why I exhort you to read more about WADA and the clauses.

Naked Cricket said...

Congrats Raja, your post is now in Italian. Appears the people at WADA translated it. Found it on the google search pointer. Anyway, it's a post here.

Excellent post here, lotta research I'm sure, reckon you should be in at WADA instead of Kumble.

straight point said...

sire i would say you got it wrong on three parts...

i was not hurt...

that i don't posses balance POV anymore...

me not knowing the 'three' strike clause...

in fact if you check the history of wada i was he first blogger who wrote about it at bored as well as at sp...

RajaB said...

@SP: I am happy I am not completely wrong !! only partly wrong, that too in 3 parts

Well the point that I got (3) wrong is why it baffles me why I got (2) also wrong !! And I am very happy I got (1) wrong...

I must be right in one of these, you decide !!!

Sanjeev said...

Yuvraj has made a statement that they get only 3 months off and don't want intrusions into their privacy during this short period. He believes that Indian cricketers have the most taxing schedules of all sports. What a joke!

Take Fedex and Nadal - they play throughout the year.
EPL - on from August to May - so two months off for the footballers after playing an average of twice a week for ten months...

These are just two examples that come to mind offhand and I am sure that there would be others (Rugby, Golf - Maybe...).

My point is that if the rest of the sporting world can abide with these rules including cricketers of all the other cricket playing nations, what is so special about our pampered few? Which axe is the BCCI hoping to grind this time.

Lets not glorify our sportsmen to a point that they choose to stand above all other sports and in effect choose which regulations that they want to follow and which they won't. There was a comment that other bodies "did not have the guts to object to this" - I believe that this is not a matter of having guts or not, but a genuine desire to root out drugs from sport as far as possible...

RajaB said...

@Sanjeev: Bang on... Thanx !!

Another Blogger said...

Sanjeev: EPL players aren't in WADA whereabouts net. Only "high risk" and injured Football players are.

Federer and Nadal would love not to be in it, but they don't have institutional backing, like Indian players have (from BCCI). For Tennis players, situation is "submit or retire". Not so with cricketers (yet)