Mumbai:In a bid to ease cricketers' concerns over the contentious "Whereabouts Requirements" clause of the WADA Anti-Doping Code, the ICC has assured its member boards that the dope testing programme would be "reasonable".
"The ICC has stressed at all IRTP (International Registered Testing Pool) education sessions, and continues to stress, that the ICC testing programme will be reasonable and that the majority of the Out-of-Competition testing will be based around team and FTP commitments and not whilst players are on holiday," ICC's Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat had written to its member boards some time ago.
But Lorgat had added a rider to this assurance saying the ICC must have the ability to test any cricketer at any time of the day and on any day for effective implementation of WADA's Anti-Doping Code to which it is a signatory.
"However, it is a fundamental requirement in any effective anti-doping regime (as well as a condition of compliance with the Code) that the ICC must have the ability to test any cricketer at any time on any day", he had said.
Explaining further the ICC CEO had said this was for a number of sporting reasons that included placing a deterrent on any doping practice in any off-season.
Lorgat explained that research into the fight against doping in sport has indicated that all sportsmen and women were most at risk of engaging in doping practices when they were not playing.
"The longer cricketers are away from their team and the longer their holiday the more at risk they become. This risk increases significantly if they are aware that they cannot be located", he had said in his communication.
Admitting the provision of such information impinged on the privacy of players whilst they were away from their cricketing activities, Lorgat had said it was "a fundamental requirement of implementing a fair, equitable and effective anti-doping programme to protect the overwhelming majority of cricketers who are clean".
Top Indian cricketers who are in the IRTP, a list that includes champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, have raised apprehensions about this controversial clause, saying it invaded their privacy, and have thus far refused to sign the Code.
The BCCI, on its part, has called an emergency meeting of its Working Committee here tomorrow to sort out the contentious issue and invited some top cricketers, including Dhoni and Tendulkar.
"Apart from Dhoni and Tendulkar the invitations have also been sent to Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan", Board sources said on Saturday.
"But we have come to know that Zaheer is out of the country and Tendulkar also may not be available as he is out of town. We don't know who all will attend. Anyway these players have sent their views to the Board on the subject," they said.
The sources also said that ICC's lawyer Iain Higgins will be coming to Mumbai on Saturday night and wants to meet the players to explain the details of the code and try and remove their apprehensions.
But Higgins will not be attending the working committee meeting, they added.