| Pradeep Sangwan |
Calcutta: After much “internal debate,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is understood to have constituted a three-member Tribunal comprising only foreigners to hear Delhi and Kolkata Knight Riders’ pacer Pradeep Sangwan’s appeal.
Sangwan, 22, tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug during the closing stages of this year’s scandal-rocked IPL.
The news had been kept under wraps till the latter half of last month, the objective being to avoid further damage to the IPL brand.
But was the purpose served?
“India’s new to handling doping issues, certainly in cricket, which is why there are no experts really... The BCCI did have plenty of discussion, an internal debate, before going for a Tribunal made up of foreigners,” a well-placed source, based in New Delhi, told The Telegraph.
That was confirmed by another well-placed source, in Chennai, on Wednesday evening.
However, there was no word from the BCCI, which has been facing a crisis every few weeks for the past few months.
Clearly, faced with an unusual happening, the BCCI has opted for “top-bracket professionals.”
But, initially, there definitely was a move within the BCCI to constitute an all-desi Tribunal.
Nowadays, doping isn’t only a medical issue, so it won’t surprise if two of the three foreigners are experts in law, with the third member drawn from the medical fraternity.
Of course, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) guidelines have to be followed to the last comma.
It seems that those who’re caught doping try to build a case legally, which is why plenty of thought goes into putting together a Tribunal.
According to both well-placed sources, the “preliminary hearing” could take place “within a week or so.”
The “preliminary hearing” will almost surely be via a tele-conference.
One learns that the “ground rules” would be made clear to Sangwan and his lawyer. Also, they will be free to seek clarifications, if any, on the Notice of Charge, which has been sent to the pacer’s home association, too.
The Notice of Charge was finalised by the Independent Review Board, which came into the picture when Sangwan’s ‘A’ sample result was known.
As first reported in these columns, a Wada-accredited lab in New Delhi did the testing.
It’s assumed that the ‘B’ sample of Sangwan’s urine also showed the same result — positive.
Usually, a “preliminary hearing” takes some time. The hearing proper, which may be held a fortnight afterwards, shouldn’t be as long.
By all accounts, Sangwan faces a two-year ban. If he chooses to appeal that punishment, then the BCCI would have to form an Appeals Panel as well.
Should the ban be upheld by the Appeals Panel and Sangwan still not be satisfied, he will have the option to move the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in Lausanne.
One way or the other, the story would end there.