India Court Suggests New Spot-Fixing Probe, Delays Srinivasan's Return
India's Supreme Court on Monday suggested a fresh inquiry "into the spot-fixing scandal surrounding the Indian Premier League," further delaying the return of N. Srinivasan as the country's cricket chief, according to the AFP. The court proposed a three-member panel headed by a former judge "to investigate the scandal that has rocked the popular Twenty20 league" run by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Judge A.K. Patnaik said, "We want this committee to probe the spot-fixing and this committee will report to us." Patnaik also told the court that the BCCI's lawyers "must reply to the proposal at the next hearing on Tuesday" (THE NATIONAL, 10/7). The PTI reported the bench "turned down BCCI's proposal for setting up a Special Purpose Committee" comprising senior polititian Arun Jaitley and Assam Cricket Association member Nilay Dutta to "look into the issue." It also turned down BCCI's plea that the proposed panel "should find out if further probe is required into all the issues mentioned in the charge sheet filed by the Mumbai Police in the scandal." The bench said that the panel "would conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations and submit its report to the Supreme Court." The bench said, "Mumbai Police can go on its own. Let the panel make an independent inquiry and give report to the Supreme Court and suggest remedial measures" (PTI, 10/7). The PTI reported in their quest to "paint a rosy picture about the health of Indian cricket," Srinivasan and former BCCI treasurer Ravi Savant's note in the Board's Annual Report "doesn't have a single mention of IPL-VI spot-fixing scandal that rocked Indian cricket." Secretary Sanjay Patel's two-page note "has a passing mention of the spot-fixing and betting scandal involving big names" like former int'l S. Sreesanth and Srinivasan's "tainted son-in law" Gurunath Meiyappan. The Annual Report that has a dedicated page on Anti-Doping Methods and Age-Verification Process also "doesn't mention IPL's first Indian dope cheat" Pradeep Sangwan's name, while it stated that "364 U-16 cricketers failed age verification tests" (PTI, 10/7).
DOPING QUESTIONS: In Mumbai, Indranil Basu wrote the fact that doping has not "infested cricket as much as it has other sports is primarily because cricket is more of a skill-based sport." However, in the age of Twenty20, anti-doping policies "have gained significance as cricket is increasingly demanding peak physical fitness." BCCI's consultant for anti-doping control and age verification Vece Paes said, "In T20 cricket, a player's power comes into play and it's important for the cricketers to know which substances are banned and which ones can be used to nurse injuries." At a time when other sports stars have "learnt to live with the hassle of signing World Anti-Doping Association's whereabouts details every month, the cricketers are insulated from out-of-competition testing." Paes: "Out-of-competition testing is intrusive for cricketers. In any case, they are eligible for testing for nine to 10 months in a year and there is no need for them to be tested when they are not playing cricket" (TIMES OF INDIA, 10/7).