New Delhi - India's cricket board on Friday heightened a battle with the country's anti-doping agency over who has the right to test players for banned drugs.
Although two players have failed tests carried out by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in three years, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has refused to allow tests by India's National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri wrote to NADA and the sports ministry reaffirming the refusal to cooperate, which the governing body says is a threat to India's compliance to WADA's code.
"It is relevant to mention here that BCCI is not a national sports federation. Accordingly, NADA does not have jurisdiction to conduct dope testing of Indian cricketers in any domestic or international event organised or under the aegis of BCCI," Johri wrote to NADA chief Navin Agarwal.
Because of this "there is no requirement for any BCCI official to co-ordinate with NADA for dope testing of Indian cricketers" in or out of competition.
"The BCCI already has a robust dope testing mechanism which is employed for both during competitions and out-of-competitions," Johri wrote to the sports ministry.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is a signatory to the WADA code and Johri said that as an ICC member the Indian body has implemented the ICC anti-doping code since 2011.
The doping debate in Indian cricket escalated when WADA announced this year that a domestic player - who was not named - had tested positive for a banned drug.
An Indian Premier League player, Pradeep Sangwan, failed a drug test in 2013. The left-arm paceman was banned for 18 months from taking part in any BCCI-run event.
NADA on Thursday appointed former opening batsman Virender Sehwag and ex-Delhi player Vinay Lamba to its appeals panel.
Drug abuse in cricket was brought to the fore when Australian spin legend Shane Warne was banned for a year after testing positive on the eve of the 2003 World Cup.