What Is A Doping Test In Cricket? How Is It Conducted?

Doping in sports refers to the players using banned performance-enhancing stuff to gain an unfair advantage over their rivals. Doping is mainly the presence of one or more of the anti-doping rules present in Articles 2.1 through 2.11 of the World Anti-Doping Code, as per WADA.

A key part of the ICC’s anti-doping program is efficient anti-doping test. As per the ICC Anti-Doping Code, testing can be done both in-competition or on match day and out-of-competition or non-match day. 

The ICC gathers location data to enable efficient and successful no-notice out-of-competition testing. Dates, places, locations, and other details that allow a player or team to be located for out-of-competition testing are known as whereabouts data and they are sent to the ICC.

What exactly is Doping Test in Cricket?

In essence, the dope test finds illegal chemicals in athletes’ systems. Like other athletes, cricket players are subject to these tests. Keeping the playing field level is the goal. Cricket requires endurance, particularly in the longer formats. For an advantage, some may turn to performance-boosting drugs. The test ensures players’ safety and fair play.

Each cricketer player bears personal responsibility for any illegal substance discovered in their sample. Unlike the pharma sector, the supplement industry is not subject to tight rules, which makes it nearly hard for anybody to check if a supplement product has illegal drugs. 

Cricket players must carefully weigh the hazards of supplements before using them and move with the utmost caution when making a decision. 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) secures both the game’s integrity and clean players’ rights. That includes the ability to compete on an even playing field. Everyone must maintain cricket’s integrity.

With the ICC Anti-Doping Test Code as per the WADA Code, cricket ensures to take part in the global campaign against drug use in sports. The ICC keeps its efforts to:

(a) Protect the integrity of cricket

(b) Secures the health and rights of all cricketers

(c) Ensure that cricket is a doping-free sport

How is the Doping test conducted?

Below is the step-by-step process for the smooth conduct of doping test in cricket.

1. Selection of players

They select the players randomly for testing. Credible data can often lead to targeting specific players.

2. Notification

Upon selection, the players get an urgent notice. Players must remain within sight of testers after the notice.

3. Sample Collection

At first, urine samples are taken for testing. A tester must observe players as they produce the sample.

4. Sample Splitting

The sample that was gathered divides into A and B containers. This makes sure there’s a backup in case more testing is required.

5. Packaging

Every sample has a tight seal. This ensures fair sample testing inside the labs. 

6. Transportation

After that, samples are sent to the labs authorized by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), ensuring the highest calibre of tests.

7. Lab Analysis:

The Doping Test takes place on the “A” sample first. The “B” sample is put out for testing if this sample tests positive.

8. Result Notification

Through their cricket boards, players are notified about the results. A deeper process takes place to get positive results.

ICC Makes Stop Clock Rule Permanent in ODIs, T20Is

What if a Player Tests Positive for Doping?

Now, one would wonder how the threat of doping could affect a sport as skill-based as cricket. Cricket has evolved over the last ten years into a more bodily demanding game because of the global boom of shorter formats like Twenty-20 and T-10.

Fast bowlers and pinch hitters, whose skills also demand high power levels, are more prone to adopt these doping stuff and tricks.

As per John Gloster, a former physio for the Indian cricket team, modern cricket is an endurance sport that calls for brief bursts of strength and power. Thus, you can’t thrive in the game solely on technique and skill. As a result, cricket players are now also more likely to dope.

As part of its firm’s strategy, the ICC, which has been a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency since 2006, has approved an Anti-Doping Test Code in line with the code adopted by the World Anti-Doping Agency to serve the integrity of the sport and prevent doping.

 A full inquiry takes place if the tests are positive. During this stage, players might:

  • Ask to test their “B” sample.
  • See the opening of the “B” sample.
  • Get a thorough lab report.
  • Challenge the positive result.

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