India has had 103 positive dope cases since January this year, 18 of them in the last week. Shocked?
"As far as numbers are concerned, it's true," confirmed Rahul Bhatnagar, Director-General, National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
"But it also shows we are serious about catching cheats and curbing the menace of doping in the country. It also shows our commitment towards a dope-free sport. The federations need to be more careful. Our endeavour is to hold a clean Games. We are determined to root out doping from sport in the country," he said.
The NADA has, of late, become proactive given the fact that India's prestige will be at stake when the quadrennial Games kick off. No less than 600 samples have been taken in selection trials and national championships. NADA has also conducted more than a dozen surprise visits to various camps.
This exercise has resulted in 18 athletes — eight of them part of CWG teams — being caught during camps and selection trials. Strangely, all of them have been caught using the same substance, methylhexanamine, which is not readily available in India and can be taken as supplements or nasal drops.
Experts believe the source of the substance must be probed thoroughly. They feel that given the rampant manner in which the substance has been used, the probe should not be restricted to just sportspersons but also include sports federations.
It's strange that despite the formation of the NADA in 2009, the federations have still worked in a secretive manner and, had it not been for the Commonwealth Games, even the names of the 18 dope cheats would not have come out in the open.
A NADA official said that some of the athletes were appearing before the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel and some had been served bans.