Former India opener Virender Sehwag on Tuesday (July 31) said that he was unwilling to be a part of the NADA panel and joined only because Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had insisted him.
Explaining the reason behind his reluctance, Sehwag said he always felt that only Olympians should have been on the committee and not cricketers. Having been included into the six-member Anti Doping Appeals Panel (ADAP) of NADA in November 2017, Sehwag is yet to attend any hearing.
"I feel former Olympians should be a part of the NADA panels rather than cricketers. The sportspersons in Olympic categories are more in sync with working procedure of NADA," Sehwag told PTI.
"The Olympians know more than someone like me about anti-doping codes. I was initially reluctant about being a part of the panel. I have always been a part of BCCI and I have rarely undergone dope tests, save the ICC tournaments that we played. So I have no hesitation in admitting that my knowledge is limited," he added.
Sehwag, who is known to speak his mind, also revealed that he decided to join the NADA panel only after a request from Union Sports Minister Rathore.
"It was because of request from the Sports Minister that I gave my consent. He told me that someone of my stature could make a difference," he asserted.
The legendary cricketer also clarified that during the first two hearings of ADAP, he was not even informed by the NADA about the dates.
"I can put it on record that I was not told about the dates of the first two hearings. Then on the third hearing, I couldn't unfortunately attend as my son was not well," he remarked.
As per the reports in PTI, the panels for all the hearings have been announced and Sehwag's name is not there in the NADA website.
"This I am hearing from you. Now if someone from NADA contacts me now and I can probably confirm my availability. But if I am asked on August 6 about August 10 hearing, it might happen that I have prior commitments," Viru stated.
He also said that he is unaware about the duration of the panel.
"I need to check the duration of the panel, whether it's one year or two years," he concluded.
(With PTI inputs)