In an embarrassing revelation for India's anti-doping fight, 500 sportspersons, mostly weightlifters and track-and-field athletes failed dope tests conducted by National Anti-doping Agency (NADA) between January 2009 and July 2013, the agency has revealed in response to an RTI query. Out of them, 423 were handed punishments by the Anti Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP).
"NADA came into effect from January 2009. As a result of dope testing, a total of 500 athletes were found to have violated Anti-Doping rules till July 2013. A total of 423 athletes were imposed sanction by ADDP. Athletics tops the drug offenders' list. As a result, action taken by NADA, athletes were sanctioned by anti-doping panels," NADA said.
Since NADA came into effect, 14,684 dope samples were collected until July this year. "NADA has conducted 9898 dope tests during the last three years on athletes. Athletics tops the list with 113 doping rule violations, followed by 92 in weightlifting." A report by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in August revealed that India had the second highest number of dope cheats (43) in the world, only behind Russia (44) in terms of suspensions. India was on top until July when the IAAF lifted nine suspensions.
The other sports featuring a high number of cheats include kabaddi (58), bodybuilding (51), powerlifting (42), wrestling (41), boxing (36) and judo (9). NADA said it has taken stringent measures against doping between 2009 and 2012 and that 8000 athletes and support staff had attended its awareness programmes.