Young dope offenders not an ideal sign

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Even before the anti-doping bill was passed by Parliament on Wednesday, more and more athletes are getting caught doping. India had been table toppers in the World Anti-Doping Agency list and it’s perhaps time anti-doping watchdogs get more power to nail the guilty. In the latest National Anti-Doping Agency release after the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel’s hearing,  there were 19 athletes who tested positive.

What could be embarrassing for Indian athletics, as many as six athletes are on the list of 19. Asian Games medallist M R Poovamma too figures on it. She has been banned for three months from 20.06.2022 for testing positive for a stimulant. According to NADA, various sanctions have been imposed on all those found guilty.

Not just athletics, archery is one sport that seems to be quietly sneaking into this infamous list. An archer has tested positive for using a beta blocker, which helps in precision sports like shooting and archery. Archery is not alone. Even a shooter (Ramsha Kitekar) tested positive for a beta blocker. Four powerlifters and three bodybuilders also figure on the list. Other sports in which players have tested positive are kabaddi (Amit Kharab), wushu (Priya Kumari), rugby (Antima Kumari) and wrestler (Satinder Malik).
What could be more disconcerting is that junior athletes are testing positive. There have also been occasions when junior players, not just in athletics but across other sports, tested positive for banned substances.

Two junior national athletics medalists have returned positive. Donald Makhimairaj of Tamil Nadu and Aditi Rajesh Bugad of Maharashtra, both junior national athletics (Federation Cup) medalists last year tested positive for steroids. Donald tested positive for stanozolol, a steroid that has been used for decades and has been banned for four years for his first offence. Aditi tested positive for drostanolone, an anabolic steroid used in the treatment of breast cancer earlier. As reported earlier, Adesh Yavad, a U23 medallist representing Maharashtra who won a gold in 5000m at the U23 junior national athletics meet in New Delhi last year, tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) and Darbepoetin (dEPO).

Anti-doping Bill gets RS nod

The Rajya Sabha passed the Anti-doping Bill, in 2022 on Wednesday. It sailed through the Lok Sabha on July 27 with some amendments. Among others, the Bill would give anti-doping officials more authority to search and seize. The Bill would also provide more legal sanctity to National Anti-Doping Agency and National Dope Testing Laboratory. The Bill also seeks to enhance cooperation among agencies in fighting doping in sports.

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