Representational image.(AFI/Twitter)
Representational image.(AFI/Twitter)

AFI to crackdown on state officials on menace of overage athletes

The menace of overage athletes is fast overshadowing even doping cases, if numbers disclosed at the Athletics Federation of India’s AGM here on Friday are any indication
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Navneet Singh
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2019 11:58 PM IST

The menace of overage athletes is fast overshadowing even doping cases, if numbers disclosed at the Athletics Federation of India’s AGM here on Friday are any indication. More than 289 athletes have been caught manipulating age certificates in meets over the past year. AFI has now proposed “stringent action against erring state units”, including suspending its secretaries for a year, “if two or more athletes are found overage in one calendar year”.

AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said, “The overage issue has become a bigger threat than doping. We will suspend the secretaries of erring state units and form ad-hoc bodies.”

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In the Youth National Championships at Vadodara last year, 27 entries out of 602 were found overage. An AFI medical commission official said on condition of anonymity that most violations were by athletes from Rajasthan (6), Telangana (5), Uttar Pradesh (5), Madhya Pradesh (4) and Haryana (3).

At this year’s Youth Nationals in Raipur, there were 42 overaged athletes. And out of the 589 entries received, 91 didn’t report. MP (10), UP (7), Haryana (7) and Delhi (5) were the big offenders.

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AFI secretary, CK Valson, said the rule making staging state units accountable is set to be introduced on Saturday. “If state officials check the documents properly, things will become far easier for AFI.”

Rajasthan unit secretary, Pramod Jadam, said: “The resources to conduct medical tests are the biggest challenge. How can we challenge the birth certificates issued by panchayats and municipalities?” he asked.

india medal boost

Bahrain’s Oluwakemi Adekoya, who won the 400m hurdles and was in the winning mixed relay team at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, has been slapped a four-year doping ban. India will be upgraded to gold in relay and Anu Raghavan, who came fourth in the hurdles, will move to bronze, boosting India’s tally.

India’s Sanjivani Yadav too has been banned for two years by IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). She will lose the Asian 10,000m bronze won this year.

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