New Blood Tests to Feature in Champions Trophy 2017 to Fight Doping
A new anti-doping measure is going to be implemented in cricket starting with the ICC Champions Trophy this year. Players will have to provide blood samples for testing performance-enhancing drugs.
The World Anti-Doping Agency sets the tests to check the presence of such drugs in professional players and sportspersons across the world. As per their guidelines, cricketers already provide their urine samples. However, this will be the first time that they have to provide samples of their blood for improving the testing process.
Players from India were informed by an anti-doping team from the ICC. As per reports, there was apprehension about providing their blood. However, they agreed to the new tests on being explained that drug abuse could be eradicated by means of blood testing.
Such tests are already in place in other sports. There are several steroids and drugs used for enhancing performance which are not identified through urine tests. Blood tests are more effective at recognizing them.
Blood samples are the first step in smart testing, a process outlined by WADA. From now, all cricketers will have their own athlete biological passports like other sportspersons. For the passport, blood samples are going to be preserved for a period of 10 years. All cricketers will have to submit their samples every six months. Samples will be tested and compared for variations and abnormalities.
Fears about doping in cricket are on the rise. It is hoped that such steps can help in identifying abusers so that the sport can remain clean. The Champions Trophy will take place in June 2017 in England and Wales.