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To Unify Action

first_imgBy Dialogo April 01, 2012 They generally have separate lives in the air, on land and at sea, but on the soccer field in Honduras’ Command and General Staff School (ECEM, for its Spanish acronym), officers from the Honduran Army, Navy and Air Force mingle on the same turf. The afternoon grew cool on the hills of Ocotal, Honduras, a few kilometers from the center of Tegucigalpa, when the students of the 24th Command and General Staff Course took a break to devote themselves to sports. For weeks, they had been training to acquire the skills they will need once promoted to lieutenant colonel or commander. Since the school’s founding in 1981, nearly a thousand officers have graduated from this center of military instruction. Although the ECEM continues to consolidate Honduran officers’ training for unit command and general staff functions, Infantry Colonel Víctor Manuel Núñez Durán, the school’s director, explained that the academic program has been modified over time to respond to ever-changing security threats in the isthmus. “Before, the conflicts we had were conventional, but as problems like terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime have risen, we’ve been adjusting all aspects of our doctrine and incorporating other topics of study, without neglecting our task, which is national defense,” he commented. The school offers two different courses simultaneously: the Command and General Staff Course (CCEM) and the Higher Military Studies Course (CAEM). The CCEM is an 18-month mandatory course for majors or lieutenant commanders who seek to move up in their careers. The CAEM, however, is a privilege exclusively for those who distinguish themselves as lieutenant colonels or commanders; only the top 10 course applicants and the top five of the previous CCEM class are chosen to attend the 37-week course. Other requirements include an impeccable military record as well as optimal physical and psychological conditions. Commander Héctor Tercero López, one of the CAEM students, told Diálogo that the dynamic and hands-on nature of the course keeps them highly motivated. He explained that since the Honduran Constitution stipulates the Army’s participation in peace, humanitarian aid, and rescue missions, students not only receive theoretical training on these topics, but are also assigned practice scenarios to plan to support Hondurans or other nations’ people in the event of a disaster. During their time at the school, the officers also have the opportunity to earn a diploma in military education and pedagogy taught by academics from Honduras’ Defense University, and a master’s degree in business administration from the National Autonomous University. This, the director emphasized, is something that differentiates ECEM from other schools of its kind in Central America. Beyond Honduras Although ECEM is located at the top of a hill in a beautiful rural area of the Honduran capital, its vision reaches beyond the country’s borders. Recently, academics from the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, under the umbrella of the U.S. National Defense University, visited ECEM classrooms to offer a three-day workshop on gangs and drug trafficking. “We have firsthand experience with this issue; they own the technology to create simulation scenarios that motivate discussion and the search for solutions,” said Infantry Lieutenant Colonel Mario Bueso Caballero, head of ECEM’s academic department. Another key subject for future graduates in their missions as high-ranking Army officers is international humanitarian law and human rights. According to Col. Núñez Durán, teaching respect for these principles is essential to reinforce the moral, ethical and professional guidelines that are basic in exercising command and performance at all levels of the Armed Forces. ECEM students agree that one of the most significant aspects of their time at the school is the opportunity to get to know colleagues from different branches of the Armed Forces, something that is achieved through projects to support the local population as well as afternoon soccer games. “I’ve done all my work in the Air Force, but here, while we’re training to command the Armed Forces, we share with leaders from other branches, become friends, and we develop the same mindset,” said Air Force Major Marco Tulio González Aguilar, a student in the 24th Command and General Staff Course. This is precisely the spirit of the school’s motto, repeated in each classroom: “To unify action.”last_img read more

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As Controlled Substance Use Rises in Medicare, Prolific Prescribers Face More Scrutiny

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York This story was co-published with USA Today and NPR’s Shots blog.Despite a national crackdown on prescription drug abuse, doctors churned out an ever-larger number of prescriptions for the most-potent controlled substances to Medicare patients, new data shows.In addition, ProPublica found, the most prolific prescribers of such drugs as oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine and Ritalin often have worrisome records.In 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, Medicare covered nearly 27 million prescriptions for powerful narcotic painkillers and stimulants with the highest potential for abuse and dependence. That’s up 9 percent over 2011, compared to a 5 percent increase in Medicare prescriptions overall. Even taking into account an increase in the number of Medicare enrollees, the prescribing rate rose slightly for these drugs, which are classified as Schedule 2 controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration.Twelve of Medicare’s top 20 prescribers of Schedule 2 drugs in 2012 have faced disciplinary actions by their state medical boards or criminal charges related to their medical practices, and another had documents seized from his office by federal agents.The No. 1 prescriber—Dr. Shelinder Aggarwal of Huntsville, Ala., with more than 14,000 Schedule 2 prescriptions in 2012—had his controlled substances certificate suspended by the state medical board in March 2013. He surrendered his medical license four months later. (Aggarwal could not be reached for comment.)Prescribing high volumes of Schedule 2 drugs can indicate a doctor is running a pill mill, said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, chief medical officer of Phoenix House, a New York-based drug treatment provider. Government regulators should do more to monitor prescribing patterns and intervene proactively if they appear aberrant, he said.“We wait ’til these doctors kill people,” said Kolodny, founder of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, which advocates for tighter regulation of painkillers. “It doesn’t make any sense.”Medicare’s drug program, known as Part D, now covers about 38 million seniors and disabled people and pays for more than one of every four prescriptions dispensed in this country. Concerns about oversight of controlled substances date back to at least 2011, when the Government Accountability Office highlighted abuse of opioids in Part D and called on Medicare to take action.Within the past year, Medicare has started to use prescribing data to identify potentially problematic doctors, as have some state medical boards. Beginning in mid-2015, Medicare will have the authority to kick doctors out of the program if they prescribe in abusive ways.“It’s a real area of concern for us,” said Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, director of the Center for Program Integrity within the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.The 2012 data shows the upward trend line for prescriptions of controlled substances before these initiatives took hold.The DEA classifies certain potent drugs based on their potential for abuse and sets limits on prescribing for each group. Drugs classified as Schedule 2 require written prescriptions and cannot be refilled. (Doctors may give patients up to a 90-day supply by writing additional prescriptions during a visit.) Prescriptions for Schedule 3 drugs, which are somewhat less addictive, can be phoned in and refilled up to five times.The DEA says it does not have the resources to track physicians’ prescribing, and instead focuses on drug distribution. So it falls mostly to state medical boards, Medicare and law enforcement agencies to make sure doctors follow the rules for controlled substances. And they have typically relied on complaints, rather than data analysis, to trigger investigations.ProPublica reported in 2013 that Medicare did not proactively analyze its prescribing data or take action against providers whose patterns were troubling, even if they had been charged with Medicare fraud or kicked out of state Medicaid programs. Most of Medicare’s top prescribers of Oxycontin in 2010 had legal or disciplinary actions filed against them; nonetheless, many retained the ability to prescribe in Part D, as of May 2013.Shelinder Aggarwal’s Medicare prescribing history had plenty of red flags. The pain medicine specialist has consistently shown up in Medicare’s data as a top prescriber of narcotics. By 2012, the year before he stopped practicing, more than 80 percent of his Medicare patients received at least one prescription for a Schedule 2 drug, in many cases oxycodone. On average, all Alabama doctors in Aggarwal’s specialty issued prescriptions for Schedule 2 drugs to just 38 percent of their patients.It took complaints from pharmacies near Aggarwal’s office to alert the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners to his unusual prescribing habits, said Larry Dixon, the board’s executive director. Board investigators subsequently made undercover visits to the doctor’s office and videotaped him prescribing drugs without an exam.“If you paid $1,200 in cash, they would put a VIP stamp on your medical records and you didn’t ever have to have an appointment,” Dixon said.Medicare’s Part D data draws a roadmap to the doctors who prescribe controlled substances most frequently.Note: Counts include initial prescriptions and refills dispensed. Retail price includes patients’ out-of-pocket costs but does not reflect drug maker rebates.In 2012, 269 providers wrote at least 3,000 prescriptions for Schedule 2 drugs, ProPublica’s analysis shows. They were concentrated in a handful of states. Florida led the country with 52 providers, followed by Tennessee with 25. North Carolina, Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Kentucky each had more than 10. (Look up your doctor using our Prescriber Checkup tool.)About one in five doctors who wrote at least 3,000 prescriptions for Schedule 2 drugs have faced some kind of sanction or investigation, ProPublica found.In September, Medicare sent 760 letters to doctors who prescribed far more Schedule 2 drugs than others in their medical specialty and state. Officials hope the initiative will cause doctors to examine their prescribing and make changes.“Simply being an outlier doesn’t establish that you’re doing something wrong,” said CMS’ Agrawal. “What we are trying to do is give physicians the ability to assess themselves, given their comparative data.”Medicare also has sent information on 71 prescribers for possible investigation to the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and on one doctor to a state medical board.Some medical licensing boards are also expanding their efforts to use data to spot problematic prescribing. North Carolina’s medical board has proposed new regulations allowing the agency that runs the state’s prescription drug monitoring program to share data with the board. The board currently can only access the data when it is pursuing an active investigation into a particular physician.“We’re just trying to get ahead of the curve here and identify these folks further upstream instead of waiting until there’s an accidental poisoning death or some other type of patient harm that we learn about after the fact,” said R. David Henderson, the board’s executive director.Similarly, Alabama’s legislature recently authorized its medical board to regulate pain medicine clinics and proactively access data from its prescription monitoring database.Dixon, the Alabama board’s executive director, and Henderson said their states’ changes are not meant to impede legitimate care by doctors.“Most of these people are just as genuine as you could possibly hope,” Dixon said.Data, alone, can be misleading. Athens, Georgia pain specialist Mark Ellis was the third-highest prescriber of Schedule 2 drugs in the country in 2012, with more than 10,000 prescriptions. But unlike many states, Georgia does not allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to write prescriptions for these controlled substances on their own, requiring them to be signed by a physician. As a result, Ellis said he was credited with the prescribing of four other professionals in his practice. (Ellis was fined by Georgia’s medical board in July 2005 for working with a physician assistant without consent from the board.)With scrutiny of painkiller prescribing on the rise, Ellis said he attempts to ensure that patients are taking, not selling, their pills by requiring frequent drug testing. “Our practice policy is to monitor all patients every visit, every time they come in, to make sure they’re compliant with their treatment program,” he said.Rules put in place by several states have reduced prescribing of narcotics, experts say. New York, Kentucky and Tennessee now require that doctors check databases that track every controlled substance prescription in their states before prescribing such drugs to patients for the first time and at certain intervals afterward. Other states are considering or are in the process of implementing similar rules. Such checks are currently voluntary in most states.Without taking this step, doctors “are woefully unaware of what’s really going on with their patients, and they are unable to discern when they should check. So they make prescribing decisions blindly,” said John Eadie, director of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Center of Excellence at Brandeis University.Mandatory checks are “the most-effective single tool we’ve found yet to address this problem,” he said.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

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Hillary Clinton touts regulatory relief for credit unions

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, praised credit unions’ small business lending Wednesday and touted the need for regulatory relief for the industry.NAFCU has met with senior policy advisors for both Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump about the need for regulatory relief for credit unions.“Small businesses – which should be the engine for creating new jobs across America – they need to be free of red tape, they need access to credit,” Clinton said in a speech on the economy in Raleigh, N.C. “We need to slash unnecessary regulations, making it easier to get start-up capital from community banks and credit unions. If you have an idea for a small business, we want you to get started.” continue reading »last_img read more

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Trump calls on Senate to question Obama in conspiracy theory

first_imgAnd Graham poured cold water on Trump’s idea, telling Politico: “I don’t think now’s the time for me to do that. I don’t know if that’s even possible.”However Trump is set to keep pushing his “Obamagate” agenda as he works overtime to stir enthusiasm in his right-wing base ahead of the November 3 presidential election.Among the figures he is now targeting is Obama’s vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic challenger this November.The conspiracy theory seeks to turn on its head a two-year investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into Trump’s Russia contacts.Mueller determined that Trump and his election campaign had extensive, sometimes murky contacts with Russians, and that Moscow directly interfered in the tense 2016 election.But he said there was no hard evidence of collusion between the two sides.Trump has called for punishing the probe’s backers, calling the entire affair a “hoax.” Despite saying that he was “greatly concerned by the precedent that would be set by calling a former president” to testify, Graham promised to hold hearings in June on the Russia-Trump investigation in general. Topics : The claim is that Obama’s administration and a “deep state” tried to scuttle Trump’s presidency using probes into his contacts with Russian entities.”Just do it,” Trump tweeted, addressing Senator Lindsey Graham, one of his most loyal Republican allies, who chairs the powerful Senate judiciary committee.”The first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama,” Trump said in the tweet.Shortly after, Obama appeared to respond on Twitter, writing simply: “vote.”center_img President Donald Trump broke with tradition Thursday by calling for investigation of his White House predecessor Barack Obama in the latest attempt to push a conspiracy theory about his Democratic opponents.Washington operates under unwritten rules that presidents and ex-presidents avoid public clashes.However Trump, less than six months from a volatile reelection showdown, called for Obama to testify in the Senate over a conspiracy theory he has dubbed “Obamagate.”last_img read more

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ICS: Ships Transiting Panama Canal May Face Over 30 Pct Price Hikes

first_imgShips transiting the Panama Canal could face price hikes of over 30% by April 1, 2020, due to new charges imposed by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said. Last month, the ACP introduced a series of new measures beginning February 15 to sustain an operational level of water and provide reliability to users while it implements a long-term solution to water.Imposed on February 15, the freshwater charge of USD 10,000 applies to vessels over 125 feet long. There will also be a variable surcharge based on the level of the Gatun Lake at the time of transit.The ICS calculates that this move will increase costs to ships passing through the Panama Canal by up to 15%.The new freshwater charge comes ahead of significant changes in rates to the Panama Canal Authority 2020 Tolls Modification, which is due to become effective on April 1, 2020. This toll modification could see additional cost increases of up to 17% for ships passing through the waterway, according to the ICS.If the charges are combined, some ships passing through the Panama Canal could face price hikes of over 30% by April 1. The period between the announcement of the new freshwater charges and their date of implementation is only a month, giving little time to consider the decision and its potential effects. All stakeholders were engaged in the decision-making process for the toll modification last year, and the Panama Canal Authority at this time agreed to defer increases to allow shipowners to factor in the rise, the ICS added.For shipowners, the proposed fees amount to yet another rise in toll charges.“While we have worked with the Panama Canal Authority to manage the upcoming implementation of toll modification rise on April 1st, the introduction of the freshwater charges’ have taken the shipping industry by surprise,” Guy Platten, Secretary General ICS, commented.“The industry is currently facing increased price pressures globally, as demand has been hit hard by coronavirus and markets are adjusting to the new regulations on sulphur levels. It is therefore highly inadvisable for the Panama Canal Authority to put increased strain on industry and the wider global economy at this time. Shipping already operates on the slimmest of margins. Cost hikes in this range, without sufficient warning, place undue pressure on the industry at a sensitive time when we are being asked to invest in a low emissions future.”“We encourage the Panama Port Authority to consider postponing the introduction of the freshwater charge to give industry a chance to better prepare,” Platten continued.Established in 1921, ICS is the principal international trade association for the shipping industry, representing shipowners and operators in all sectors and trades.last_img read more

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Fire Service Responds to 13 Fires on Sunday, Warns Against Unnecessary Burning

first_img Share Tweet Sharing is caring! LifestyleLocalNews Fire Service Responds to 13 Fires on Sunday, Warns Against Unnecessary Burning by: – May 11, 2020 180 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Share (Fire Service) The Dominica Fire and Ambulance Services Division responded to multiple Fire Calls on Sunday 10th May 2020. Two house Fires and eleven Bush Fires were responded to by crews around the island.At approximately 4:59am Crews at the Roseau Fire Station responded to a call at the landfill in Fond Cole; the said call involved fire within the landfill and crews were required to engage in firefighting procedures throughout the day. Two Fire Trucks and crew were required to challenge the blaze. Outside resources were needed to be employed in executing these procedures. Assistance came from DOWASCO in the form of use of a water truck and ADA Trucking, with use of an excavator for movement of earth and debris. Operations at the Landfill were completed at approximately 5:20pm.At approximately 2:30pm the Roseau station also got information of a Bush Fire at Newtown. Information was relayed to crews at the Landfill and simultaneously a crew was dispatched utilizing an Ambulance to investigate. Information returning from the investigating crew at approximate 2:40pm indicated that vehicles near the fire were engulfed in flames. At approximately 2:50pm the first arriving Fire Truck and crew commenced firefighting procedures and were later joined by a second Truck and crew.  The blaze involved eleven non-functional vehicles some of which were undergoing mechanical repairs and two building at Victoria Street: a mechanic garage owned by Mr. Reggie Burke was completely destroyed. A second unoccupied building, the Old Newtown Infant School, also sustained damage. Investigations into this fire are ongoing. Information though, is suggesting that the fire resulted from persons burning debris in the area.Additionally, at approximately 4:30pm, crews of the Roseau Fire Station responded to a bush fire in the King Hill area and at approximately 5:24pm also responded to a Bush Fire in the Glasgow area in Fond Cole. A call was also responded to at King Lane, Roseau at approximately 5:59pm. These fires were all extinguished. The Roseau Fire Station was again called into action in the Fond Cole/Glasgow area at approximately 8:20pm.The Grandbay Fire Station on Sunday 10th May 2020 was also involved in it fair share of Bush Fires, responding to two calls during the day. One at approximately 2:06pm in the Grandbay Village area and at approximately 3:40pm, one at Tete Morne. Both fires were extinguished without any significant damage to property.Portsmouth Fire Station responding to three Bush Fires during the day: at about 1:26 pm in the community of Bioche, at 7:03pm in the Community of Bourne and at 8:37pm in the Community of Gutter. All fires were controlled and extinguished without significant damage.On Sunday 10th May 2020 crews at the Melville Hall Fire Station responded to two Fire Calls, both of which were in the Community of Wesley. At approximately 12:00am a response was to a house fire in Wesley. The owner and sole occupier was Mr. Edmund Andrew of Wesley. No one was injured during the Blaze and investigations are still ongoing into the cause of fire and the cost of damage. Crews at the Melville Hall Station also responded to a Bush Fire in Wesley on Sunday at approximately 4:00pm. The fire was controlled and subsequently extinguished without significant damage.The Dominica Fire and Ambulance Services Division remains committed to protection of the life and property of citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica and visitors to our shores. We extend our sincerest empathy to all who lost property during these fires and continue to ask citizens to act responsibly with caution during the Dry Season and refrain from indiscriminate burning. All burning in Residential Areas should be terminated and burning for agricultural purpose should be done with outermost caution.last_img read more

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Lois Carol McCormack, 91

first_imgLois Carol McCormack, 91, Greensburg, passed away on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at Arbor Grove Village in Greensburg.  Born, August 20, 1927 in Greensburg, Indiana, she was the daughter of Henry E. and Nannie L. (Gibson) Brown.   Lois Carol graduated in 1945 from Greensburg High School.  She was a member of the First Baptist Church.  She played the piano and the organ for many years at the church.  She also played the piano and organ for many weddings and funerals over the years.  She taught piano from her home.  Lois Carol had served as a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts.  She is survived by two nieces, Cynthia (Ron) Grace, Reynolds, IN, Christina (Mike) Dunne, Tampa FL; one nephew, Mark A. Brown, Ocala, FL. She was preceded in death by her parents, her fiancé, George W. Granholt; one brother, Ray E. Brown; one nephew, Ray Patrick Brown. There will be no public services by Lois Carol’s request. Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home in Greensburg has been entrusted with the arrangements. Online condolences can be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.comlast_img read more

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Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams: Heart surgery has saved my life

first_imgTony Adams has undergone minor heart surgery in Azerbaijan – an operation the former England and Arsenal defender has said saved his life. “After feeling some acute chest pain whilst exercising in Azerbaijan, and liaising with Gabala Club doctors, I went to The Medical Plaza Hospital in Baku where I was admitted for an angiogram, and then following diagnosis of a severely blocked vein, an immediate angioplasty,” Adam said in a statement. “The brilliant surgeons at the Medical Plaza did a fantastic job – as has been reiterated to me by my cardiologist in the UK. “I know full well that without the brilliance of Dr Uzeyir Rahimov and his team I would not be alive now: a minor heart operation saved my life. “I can’t begin to thank Tale Heydarov and all at Gabala Football Club, as well as the Cardiac Unit at the Medical Plaza Baku enough. “I would just like to say that if you, like me, have a history of heart disease in your family and you feel chest pains, get yourself to the doctor’s now.” Adams is now said to be recuperating with his family in the UK, while Gabala travel to Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League on Thursday. After racking up 669 appearances and 10 major trophies with the Gunners, the 49-year-old moved into management with Wycombe, Portsmouth and then Gabala. Adams is now the Azerbaijani club’s director of football and recently went under the knife after feeling unwell. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Boynton Beach Police Rescue Baby Bunnies

first_imgA heartwarming story this Wednesday afternoon.On Saturday, Boynton Beach Police were dispatched to a local park after receiving a call about an abandoned basket of puppies.But when Officer Chris Schalk arrived at the scene to find the animals, he soon realized they were not puppies but actually baby bunnies!He was able to make the identification with the help of a friend from the Coral Springs Animal Hospital.Officer Schalk then took the baby bunnies to East Coast Rabbit Rescue, a nonprofit in West Palm Beach, that rescues abandoned or injured rabbits.The organization also works to help the animals find a forever home.last_img read more

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Cricket News BCCI agrees to come under NADA ambit: Sports Secretary Radheshyam Jhulaniya

first_imgSports Ministry had criticised BCCI for not coming under NADA.Sports Ministry had said BCCI could not conduct dope tests.BCCI had been vehemently opposed to signing up with NADA. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.center_img New Delhi: Sports Secretary Radheshyam Jhulaniya on Friday said that the Indian cricket board has agreed to come under the ambit of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), ending years of defiance. Jhulaniya, who met BCCI CEO Rahul Johri here on Friday, said the Board has given in writing that it would adhere to the anti-doping policy of NADA. “All cricketers will now be tested by NADA,” Jhulaniya told PTI. “The BCCI raised three issues before us about the quality of the dope testing kits, competence of pathologists and sample collection. We assured them that whatever facilities they want, we will provide but there will be some charge for it. BCCI is no different from others,” he added.The BCCI had been vehemently opposed to signing up with NADA, claiming that it is an autonomous body, not a National Sports Federation and does not rely on government funding. However, the sports ministry has also been steadfast in maintaining that it had to come under the NADA ambit.Till date, Sweden-based International Dope Testing Management (IDTM) has been collecting the cricketers’ samples and submitting them to the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL). “IDTM was an outside agency hired by BCCI to take samples. Now that agency will be NADA. I explained to BCCI you don’t have a discretion to abide by law or not. The law applies to everyone equally,” Jhulaniya said after the landmark development following a meeting with the BCCI officials. Every federation is on the same footing for enforcement of law. You don’t have to sign an agreement. We categorically told them no MOU is required as law is applicable to everyone.”The primary concern of the Board was the contentious ‘Whereabouts Clause’ with regards to Out of Competition Testing, something that all star India players have been wary of as they considered it an invasion of their privacy.On that, the top sports ministry official said, “Yes, NADA will carry out the test whenever and wherever they want. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) clause 5.2 gives the authority to the national anti-doping agency to carry all testing in its territory irrespective of the athletes’ country.  “All athletes irrespective of their country of origin or country of citizenship come under the jurisdiction of the national anti doping agency, that’s the WADA’s charter and we are a partner.”The Sports Ministry had heavily criticised the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s anti-doping programme. According to a report in the Indian Express, a letter was written to the CEO Rahul Johri, the sports ministry and it has said the BCCI’s anti-doping programme lacks robustness. It also hinted at a conflict of interest since the BCCI tests and hands out the quantum of punishment to the players. The Sports Ministry quoted article 5.2 of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code which said sampling of athletes can be done only by an Anti-Doping organisation with testing authority. Since the BCCI has not signed up with NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) for several years, the Sports Ministry has argued that the BCCI does not have the rights to conduct dope tests.The letter pointed out the lack of robustness in the BCCI anti-doping programme. “In 2018, 215 samples were sent by BCCI to National Dope Testing Laboratory, India, for testing. Of these, 5 tested positive. There is no information as to how these athletes who tested positive have been dealt with,” the letter stated.The Ministry has raised questions about BCCI’s overarching involvement in dope cases. As per WADA rules, which are also adopted by NADA, an independent panel which has no prior involvement with the parties involved must be formed. In the BCCI’s case, this was not done in accordance and it raised the question of natural justice.- With PTI inputs-last_img read more