WADA protocol ignored in Pak dope tests

Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Ignoring the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Code/Testing Protocol, PCB collected urine samples of some cricketers late last evening while others were asked to appear this morning for urine sample collection.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to dope-test 30 players ahead of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup to be played in South Africa in September As per WADA Code, the athlete must present himself for testing within one hour after being notified in writing as the WADA Code reads: The players have a maximum of one hour to present themselves at the Doping Control Room for testing. During this time, they will be free to attend any post-match commitments, such as a presentation or press conference, but they will always be accompanied (albeit discreetly) by Sampling Officers, including inside the dressing rooms.

A highly placed source in PCB confirmed that samples of some players were taken last evening while some were asked to appear this morning allowing players to have 12 to 15 hours notice that is against the WADA Code.

Dr Danish Zaheer, a WADA accredited Anti Doping Officer, told Voice of America that ''if the 'One Hour Prior Notice Protocol' has been done away with, it would amount to a key departure from WADA Protocol which can be challenged.

''It is a huge departure from WADA Code if any player contested the procedure in case of testing positive,''he said.

Sources close to PCB claimed that few potential positive candidates had recently been privately dope tested to avoid any embarrassment.

The sources claimed that all private tests proved negative, much to the relief of PCB.

However, the deviation from the WADA Protocol also raises serious questions about the competence of the medical officer collecting samples from Pakistan team members.

Some players who gave their urine samples late last evening said that they were verbally informed to appear for sample collection around 1700 hrs on Monday and the samples were collected between 20:00 to 22:00 hrs, a good three to four hour after the verbal notice, that again is a major departure from WADA Protocol of one hour notice in writing.

Since the CAS ruling issued in the cases of WADA VS Shoaib Aktar and Mohammad Asif, PCB had adopted and implemented the WADA Code and become fully WADA compliant but the procedure adopted in the ongoing testing suggest that a key Protocol has been violated, at least as far as sample collection is concerned.


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