Experts call for monitoring system as WADA report bares India’s doping problem
India has been among the top three nations, in terms of doping violations, in the WADA reports made public in the last three yearsother sports Updated: Apr 04, 2017 16:22 IST
With India ranking third for the highest number of doping violation cases in 2015, in a report published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday, officials and athletes have called for a robust monitoring system to check the burgeoning issue in the country.
India’s record holder and international long jumper Anju Bobby George, who won a bronze medal at the 2003 athletics World Championships in Paris, said that since information is just a click away, it is one of the main reasons for the doping graph going up.
“You don’t need an advice of a medal expert or a coach to help you out these days because everything is easily available on the internet,” she said.
According to sports medicine expert Arun Mendiratta, there should be some regulation to check sale of banned drugs over the counter too. “It is also one of the root causes of widespread doping in the country. Since there is no restriction, almost all the banned drugs are easily available without medical prescription, it is adding fuel to fire,” he said.
Perhaps this could be one of the reasons why India has been among the top three nations, in terms of doping violations, in the WADA reports made public earlier in 2013 and 2014.
Mendiratta said that since drugs are available over the counter across the country, athletes on the fringes are taking them for quick gains. “That’s another reason for the number of dope offenders going up. Several upcoming athletes are failing dope tests in state and low-key events at the national level,” he added.
The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has awareness campaigns, but they will be more meaningful, said Arjuna Awardee and former international judo player Yashpal Solanki, if the harmful side effects of doping are taught in middle school.
“Those in higher classes or college going students are already aware of performance-enhancing drugs. Educating them isn’t fruitful. Emphasis should be at the grassroots,” he commented.
Lack of a robust monitoring system at the domestic level is another factor contributing to the rampant use of performance drugs.“There should be fear factor. That will only happen if there is more random out-of-competition test,” said an international athlete.
During the national walk race championship held in the capital in February, NADA collected only three samples. An official of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) was of the iew that more samples should have been collected. The official said, “There should have been more tests so that athletes are scared to take any performance-enhancing drugs.”
Anju Bobby George believes more awareness campaigns may check the menace of drugs. “It is one solution. All the stakeholders should join hands and make efforts,” she said.