New Sports Bill to bring Sports Federations under RTI: AjayMaken

Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken has said that the revised National Sports Bill will bring all the National Sports Federations under the purview of RTI Act being public authority. Sports Minister Ajay Maken told a press conference in New Delhi on Monday that the revised Bill has allowed the national bodies to follow the rules of their international federations which are in conflict with the WADA norms. "In view of the BCCI's objections, we have decided to exempt cricketers from some anti-doping norms. The ICC does not follow some WADA norms and in these cases the rules of international federation, in this case the ICC, will prevail over the WADA Code," Maken said. "It is not that the WADA Code will not apply to cricketers but in those cases where there is conflict, the ICC rules will prevail. It is also not an exemption to BCCI, it is to the ICC," he said.
Last year, the ICC had decided not to follow the contentious 'whereabouts' clause of WADA, which required the cricketers to provide information of their availability for test for few hours in a day for three months in advance, on the objection of Indian cricketers and the BCCI. The revised Bill, which will be re-sent to the Cabinet after it asked the ministry to rework on certain provisions, retained other contentious provisions including the age and tenure limitation of the Indian Olympic Association and National Sports Federations officials. The offices of the Sports Ombudsman and the National Sports Development Council have been removed from the earlier Bill. An exclusion clause has also been inserted in the Right to Information Act to protect certain information pertaining to selection and appointment of athletes and coaches, performance of an athlete and relating to health, fitness and doping issues. As many as 14 changes have been made to the original bill that was rejected by the cabinet. A specific clause has been inserted in the revised Bill -- Section 15(1) -- which would exclude applicability of those provisions of the WADA/NADA Code to which an international federation is not subject. "This has been done since NADA functions under the WADA Code and if at the international level there are certain provisions of the WADA Code to which the international federation is not subject, then the logical corollary is that those provisions should not be administered by NADA on the sport of that NSF," Maken said. Maken said he was hopeful of getting the revised Bill cleared by the Cabinet though the sticky issues, including those pertaining to age and tenure limitations still remain.