Canada and the ICC anti-drugs policy - a comment
18 February 2005
The realization that the ICC will enforce its own anti-doping policy bodes the question of costs to the Canadian Cricket Association. In preparation for the 2005 scheduled international matches in Canada, and Canada's participation in the Ireland based ICC Trophy, one might anticipate that there will have to be extensive testing of all potential members of the Canadian teams. There is also a requirement to comply with the Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport. The Canadian Cricket Association is mute on these matters. Why? It would be good news to know that compliance is a practice, and I do not mean in the nets. Without compliance there is no possibility of funding at any level of government, friends in high places notwithstanding.
The number of potential members of the national team, will be added to by the inter-provincial teams, and the junior level teams: (e.g. under-23's, under 19's at a minimum). These all add up to a substantial number of tests, (probably a grand total in the range of 150 cricketers). Can the Canadian Cricket Association risk a reliance on random testing, or will all players in the various matches have to submit to an initial testing? The collective costs would appear to be potentially ruinous. With the apparent scarcity of funds, the question of who foots the bill is relevant.
What is the testing going to cost? Where will the funds come from to foot the bill? Are the ICC going to provide a special allowance to the impoverished CCA, or is that where the "Heritage Fund" will be used?
Beyond the national level for testing to satisfy the Government of Canada and the ICC, there is specific requirement for the provincial cricket association. The following is stated in the Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport:- "National Sport Organizations, and by extension, their affiliated Provincial Sport Organizations, are further obligated to implement anti-doping measures to the extent required by their respective international Sport Organizations.". The President of the Ontario Cricket Association was asked "In the context of the ICC published Doping Policy, have you been advised of the following by the CCA? Would you be able to comment on the implications for the OCA vis-a-vis who gets tested and who foots the bill? Can you confirm that the CCA has signed onto this programme?". The following was his response
"I am aware of the two matters you have brought to my attention. I am unsure at this point in time of what implications there are for the OCA. I am not aware of any plans to test anyone and therefore there is no bill anticipated. If there were such a bill, given the $100 shoelace administrative budget on which the OCA operates---I kid you not--- we probably wouldn't be able to pay it. I am aware that the ICC also has anti-doping regulations for its competitions, such as the ICC Trophy in Ireland, and I am aware that these have been brought to the attention of the participating countries, including Canada."
Canadacricket.com has learned that the Calgary administrators of cricket are to introduce a cricketers minimum fitness requirement, (must pass a standard test), prior to consideration for selection to the provincial team at any level (u15, u19, u23 and seniors). It appears that the Calgary Cricket Association have not received any information regarding compliance with the Government of Canada doping policy in sports, although they are aware of the ICC policy on dope testing. It is also reported that "It's possible that we may be able to dope-test our provincial players at the same time and location where we will be conducting our fitness tests (twice a season).".
I have always been at a loss to understand how steroids might help to accomplish a more elegant coverdrive or how cold remedies help to disguise a googly. But then what does an old-fashioned club cricketer from the 1950s know about such esoteric chemical concoctions?
Canadian cricketers have asked about other matters. For example: How are the fundraising campaigns coming along? What is the process for appointing the Canadian coach and manager? Is the funding for the Trials for the 30 man squad in place? Who is in the Canadian squad, and when will that information be released? Where will the trials be held, and are spectators welcome? When will the names of the U-19 Squad be released? How many officials will accompany the national team to Ireland, who are they, and who is paying the bill?
I could go on about all these issues. I do not anticipate that the Canadian Cricket Association will respond either through their web site, or personally. Which means that I shall keep digging around. As we all know, cricketers love to chat about their game, and in chatting they reveal snippets. Snippets put together become information. Some of those snippets arrive electronically in the 20-30 cricket related pieces received daily. (Jon Harris)