From this year the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced doping tests for students participating in its national school games, the board said in a circular issued earlier this month.
Last year, after 11 student competitors at the national school games tested positive for banned substances, the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) wrote to all school boards to engage them in the fight against the problem. The games were organised by the School Games Federation of India in January in Ludhiana
Later, in June, the NADA, in a first, had suspended six students after conducting disciplinary hearings.
“To ensure that the CBSE Inter-School Sports and Games competitions are ‘dope free’, the board has decided to introduce ‘doping test’ in association with NADA from the session 2012–2013,” said the circular signed by Vineet Joshi, the board’s chairperson.
The games are organised in multiple disciplines every year, with nearly 9,000 affiliated CBSE schools participating.
“It seems to be a precautionary measure by the board,” said Avnita Bir, principal of RA Podar School in Santacruz. “They want to make sure it doesn’t happen.”
In January, NADA had collected 81 samples of from competitors in the events of wrestling (30), boxing (31) and weightlifting (20), of which 11 tested positive for banned substances.
This is also the first time that the CBSE will be awarding cash prizes for the sports contests. The school with the best overall performance will get Rs 5 lakh, with the runner up getting Rs 3 lakh and the second runner up getting Rs 1 lakh.
In another first, the board will also be conducting competitions in three new events: yoga, rope skipping and aerobics.