NADA readies draft to resume testing
The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has prepared a draft to resume testing elite athletes in contention for 2021 Tokyo Olympics, said its director-general Navin Aggarwal.Updated: Aug 11, 2020 23:52 IST
The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has prepared a draft to resume testing elite athletes in contention for 2021 Tokyo Olympics, said its director-general Navin Aggarwal.
NADA has not tested athletes since March when sport was halted to contain Covid-19. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had told all national agencies to follow guidelines of the local health department before resuming testing.
According to Aggarwal, the 25-page Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for drug testing has been sent to the union health ministry for approval. “The moment we get green signal (sic), random testing will resume,” he said.
It is possible that even those who are not in national camps now will be tested but the emphasis will be on high-risk sport such as track and field. “Testing plan will be adjusted accordingly as there has been reduced training. The entire competition calendar has also been disrupted due to the nationwide lockdown (from March). Thus, the goal will be target testing,” said Aggarwal.
Target testing is a process where only those athletes with sharp dip or spike in performance are tested.
Training for elite athletes including star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and sprinters resumed in May at the Patiala centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI). Olympic hopefuls in weightlifting and boxing too have begun training there recently.
Having qualified for the Olympics, the men’s and women’s hockey teams train in Bengaluru where race walkers and middle-distance runner including Jakarta Asian Games 1500m champion Jinson Johnson are also based. The national camp for badminton too started last week in Hyderabad after four months.
The first Khelo India University Games in Bhubaneswar, from February 22 to March 1, was the last major domestic event NADA collected urine samples from. At least five medal winners tested positive.
In June, NADA reminded all athletes under its Registered Testing Pool (RPT) to submit whereabouts three months in advance. This indicated that those not in national camps too could be tested.
Aggarwal said urine and blood samples will be tested at either Doha or Wada-accredited labs in Belgium. “Since suspension of National Dope Testing Laboratory has been extended by Wada for non-compliance of guidelines for another six months from July, NADA will continue to send samples to foreign labs,” he said.