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WADA concerned over doping cases

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is keeping a close watch on the number of positive cases in India ahead of the Commonwealth Games — 19 in a week — and is hoping that India will set an example in the fight against doping.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2010 00:25 IST
Indraneel Das

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is keeping a close watch on the number of positive cases in India ahead of the Commonwealth Games — 19 in a week — and is hoping that India will set an example in the fight against doping.

“The high number of recent doping cases in India is a matter of concern to WADA,” David Howman, WADA's director general, said in an email to the Hindustan Times from the headquarters in Montreal.

However, Howman added: “It also shows that the measures recently implemented by the Indian National Anti-Doping Agency have an impact.”

On whether it was deliberate or negligence on the part of the athletes, Howman did not want to go into specifics saying: “This question is really one for the tribunals that may consider the cases.”

“Whatever the reason, all athletes should be reminded that they need to ensure they follow anti-doping rules and be careful with whatever they ingest or take. This is an important responsibility of all elite athletes,” he added.

Howman also said that as the Games organiser and a major player on the international stage, India has a duty to lead by example in the fight against doping. “This is one reason why WADA is currently assisting India in the development of anti-doping capacities, including education programs...”

He said that WADA's management had made several visits to India over the last few years to provide assistance and expertise. “WADA will continue to support India in the development of anti-doping capacities over the coming months,” he stated.

During the Games, WADA plans to send two teams — an Independent Observer Team and an Athlete Outreach Team. “Experts part of the Independent Observer Team will randomly monitor all phases of doping control and results management processes of the event conducted under the responsibility of the Commonwealth Games Federation in a neutral and unbiased manner," he said.

The team of anti-doping experts who are part of their Athlete Outreach Program will be present in the Games Village.