Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) secretary Dalmegh Singh Khatra on Sunday expressed a serious concern over the rising trend of use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs by sportspersons in Punjab.
He said the state government should pay attention to the problem.
Khatra is associated with the SGPC kabaddi team and is also an administrator of a leading private sports club of Khanna and also plays a key role in promoting sports in SGPC-run schools.
In a statement issued here, Khatra said when trials for selecting the Indian team (men) for the fourth Kabaddi World Cup were held in Ludhiana, only 164 players came forward. Of these, just 49 cleared the dope test, he claimed.
"This is a matter of serious concern, as there are around 1,500 registered kabaddi players with 75-odd registered private sports clubs in Punjab," he said, raising questions as why majority of players were not coming forth for trials even when the prize money had gone up.
The fear of testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs probably kept many players away from the trials, Khatra said, adding that it was high time sports administrators pay particular attention to the problem.
More than half of those who reported at the trials failed to clear the dope test, he added.
"To check this problem, the state government should bring forth a concrete law. A state-level anti-doping agency should be created, which should be affiliated to the national and international anti-doping agencies. Random dope tests should be conducted on players," he suggested.
He appealed to education minister Sikandar Singh Maluka, who is associated with the Kabaddi World Cups, to take the doping issue seriously.
He also called for conducting a training course for referees, most of whom are not familiar with kabaddi rules.