For the IPL 2020 doping tests, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) of India has formed a coalition with the Nation Anti-Doping Committee (NADO) of UAE.
According to reports, NADO will dictate the testing regime and will also devise The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that will be followed in UAE including the tests before and during the IPL.
This is the first time when the Indian anti-doping custodians will be doing the tests on their own. Previously for the IPL, Sweden-based International Dope Test and Management (IDTM) used to carry out dope testing.
IPL 2020 is going to be a novel season for a variety of reasons.
The tournament that will begin from September 19th in the UAE will be the first IPL season to be played behind the closed doors. All sorts of safety standards and guidelines are being implemented to ensure the safety of the players and this will also include the frequent testing of players for COVID-19 as well as prohibited substances.
All the tests will be contactless and the arrangements for the same are being made, courtesy of COVID-19 guidelines.
The Dope Control Officers (DCOs) from NADA will arrive in UAE and will remain in the bio-secure bubble that will be created for the players by the BCCI.
Budget is going to be an issue for NADA as the cost for testing each sample in Doha Labs will be around USD 350 which is by all measures a tad too heavy on NADA’s budget. This is why the agency is contemplating to limit the number of tests.
In an interview with the Times of India, Navin Agarwal, NADA Director-General, told that the final plans have been devised and the agency is just waiting for the formal approvals that will come along when the IPL fixtures are announced.
He said, “We will be conducting the dope testing at the IPL like any other BCCI event, following the health and safety protocols. We will be organizing the DCOs trip, either from India or the UAE or both to the match venues. NADA has discussed the issue with the UAE NADO and some amount of understanding has already been reached. We are waiting for the IPL governing council to finalize the tournament fixtures to plan accordingly.”
NADA will have to face daunting challenges as eight teams along with their lengthy squads will be difficult as they will be working out of their comfort zone testing a large number of people.