The other day, Abhinav Bindra became the poster child for the pro-WADA lobby when he went on record about how easy compliance was, and asked what the fuss was all about.
He now faces some friendly fire from fellow shooter Rajyavardhan Rathore, who suggests that in questioning WADA’s whereabouts clause, the BCCI and Indian cricketers could actually be doing sport a favor. An extended clip from Rathore’s blog:
I must emphasize, I believe WADA serves a great cause. However, that in itself must not give anyone unlimited right over others.
WADA spends millions of dollars on research. So why isn’t it possible to come up with an alternative way for out-of-competition testing?
The practical issues around administering out-of-competition testing are also amusing, considering many of India’s sportspersons have their roots in villages and often visit them, the addresses given out could be as unidentifiable as taal no 3, or quila no 6, near jhulli walan gali, Gandhi Nagar. Indian villages are not completely mapped or on GPS like the western world and finding such locations is quite impossible without the entire village knowing about outsiders looking very lost.
Can the discussion with BCCI & Indian cricket players help improve the system?
We should accept that Indian cricketers and the BCCI don’t ‘need’ brand Olympics to grow [neither did FIFA] and hence they are in a strong position to negotiate.
I don’t think we should put aside the very valid invasion of privacy and security-related issues the Indian cricket players have raised, until the BCCI and WADA can convince the players there’s a fool-proof system that will not let them down.
The risks arising from a leak are much too real and personal, for a sportsperson to ignore.
Let’s look at this issue another way: We all want to rid our country of crime. As conscientious citizens, are we willing to report to the police, for instance, our location for 1 hour (in daylight hours) everyday for the next 90 days? And will anyone not found 3 times at those locations be labeled a suspected criminal?
So, should the cricketers comply? Why should we sit on judgment if we are not willing to accept the same principle to rid our country of crime?
The cricket establishment has a unique opportunity to help improve a system that has worldwide compliance and protects athletes who commit years of training to compete at the highest level, from being cheated by dope-criminals.
PS: Just spent a considerable amount of time responding to a comment thread on the latest Bhim post that seems even more hyperactive than usual; now off to spend a considerable amount of time at work :-) Later, peoples.