When the Board of Control for Cricket in India chief Rahul Johri – along with Saba Karim, anti-doping manager Abhijit Salvi and the Board's legal advisor – entered the office of the sports secretary on Friday,
his prime objective was to discuss issues related to clearance for the South Africa 'A' and women's teams' tours of India.
But Johri, described as "ill-prepared" by a top ministry official, was instead bombarded with questions over BCCI's unwillingness to come under the ambit of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
An aggressive Radheshyam Jhulaniya, the sports secretary, along with NADA DG Navin Agarwal left Johri no choice but to agree to "follow the law of the land".
The trio accompanying the BCCI chief tried to tell Jhulaniya there was nothing called "the law of the land" when it came to testing players and that the BCCI's consistent stand in opposing NADA rules was based on concrete reservations.
But, as Johri was not prepared to counter the arguments of government officials, the BCCI CEO was left with no option but to promise signing the NADA documents after getting the nod of the Board's general body."All cricketers will now be tested by NADA," a satisfied Jhulaniya said.
It remains to be seen how the promise will be fulfilled.
"The BCCI will agree to the law of the land," Johri said. "We have raised quite a few issues which the sports secretary promised to address."
Jhulaniya said: "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 has to follow the law of the land."
But while the sports secretary may feel a sense of victory after having done what nobody could before, officials in the BCCI believe Johri's word "needs to be ratified by general body".
"Unlike other sports in India, the stakes are so high in cricket. There have been so many issues in the past, from testing kits to the way samples are stored afterwards. Even a day's delay in testing can change the results, which can destroy the career of a cricketer. That's why we were telling NADA to first get its act together," a former top BCCI official who was engaged in talks with the government over the doping issue said.
Earlier in March, the BCCI had agreed to get into a conditional tripartite agreement with NADA and International Cricket Council (ICC).
NADA had then refused to sign that previous agreement in which the BCCI stated that their "chaperonws" would collect the samples instead of NADA's designated DCOs.
The Board said it didn't trust NADA DCOs "due to stories of goof-ups that consistently appear".
"It is now the duty of the Supreme Court-appointed COA to ensure that a BCCI General Body meeting is immediately called to discuss this," a current BCCI office-bearer said.
"Johri, being an employee of BCCI, also needs to answer to the General Body regarding overreaching his limits in such policy matters. Today, it was the NADA issue, tomorrow he may discuss the RTI (Right to Information) issue without taking his own employer into confidence," the official added.