Agreeing to a request from Athletics Federation of India (AFI), the Sports Ministry has asked the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to conduct dope tests for all state meets, a move that could help curb the menace. An official of the national federation confirmed this to PTI.
The AFI, in the ACTC (Annual Calendar of Training and Competitions) meeting held on May 21 and 22 under the chairmanship of Sports Secretary, had requested the ministry to do dope testing at the state meets. “In order to curb doping in athletics at the lower level events in the domestic circuit, the AFI asked the Sports Ministry to conduct dope tests at all the state meets and the government has agreed to our proposal. The Sports Secretary said the ministry will issue necessary directions to the NADA to conduct these tests,” AFI media manager Divesh Bhal said on Wednesday (May 29).
Dope testing of athletes at important national meets had been a cause of friction between the AFI and NADA. On many occasions, due to the non arrival or late arrival of dope testing teams of the NADA, issues cropped up regarding the ratification of national records. The AFI has also been claiming for long that many positive dope cases of athletics come from departmental and lower level meets.
In a circular issued to state units, AFI secretary C K Valson wrote that “NADA will take appropriate action regarding conduct of dope tests during state meets”. “In the (ACTC) meeting, it was decided that the dope tests will be carried out during all the state meets and state meets will be conducted as per the calendar submitted by you to Athletics Federation of India. Details of the persons arriving will be informed to you well in advance,” he wrote.
Valson asked the state officials to cooperate with the NADA representatives in facilitating efficient and fair conduct of the dope tests. “States who do not cooperate in this regard, their state meet results will not be validated by AFI,” he said.
The AFI also decided to constitute a team of experts in every states to spot talent in the age group of under 14 and 16 and groom them. The state units have been asked to recommend names of coaches and international athletes who are interested to be part of the committee.