09 Oct

The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) got underway on Saturday, September 19, however, the dope control officers (DOCs) of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) have yet to arrive in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The sample collection process has stalled as NADA officials wait for permission from the Indian government to travel to the UAE. NADA’s team was set to fly out on 12 September, but hasn’t left India pending approval from the ministry of foreign affairs.

The Times of India (TOI) reports that NADA has been trying to get the approvals to send its DOCs to either Dubai or Sharjah, preferably by next week, but, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic strict health protocols put in place by the UAE’s local authorities, this is proving difficult.

Sources said that NADA had submitted the proposal for dope testing in the IPL before the start of the tournament and the ministry had forwarded that to the required personnel in the government. Once they get to the UAE, NADA might also face the problem of entering the bio-security bubble created by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as a precautionary measure.

Visitors have to spend a seven-day quarantine period in Dubai and Sharjah, while in Abu Dhabi, the period extends to as many as 15 days. Earlier, NADA, in collaboration with UAE’s NADO, set up five ‘Dope Control Stations’ in the gulf country to carry out its anti-doping activities, one each in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, and one centre at two training venues, ICC Academy in Dubai and the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

NADA had planned to conduct only 20 in-competition tests of cricketers and 30 out-of-competition cricketers.

The final of the IPL is just over 4 weeks away, to be played on November 10.


John Stephenson


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