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Irked by dope cases, MPs flay IOA, SAI, Sports Ministry

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development has lambasted the Indian Olympic Association, Sports Authority of India and the Sports Ministry for being indifferent to the menace of doping and flayed the stakeholders for their habit of passing the buck in such cases.

The Standing Committee, chaired by Janardan Dwivedi, submitted its 188th report of Promotion of Sports in India on November 30.

days before discus thrower Seema Antil returned home after testing positive for a banned substance.

The committee criticised the existing dope control mechanism and was stunned by the lack of responsibility by the parties concerned.

''What surprised the Committee most was that nobody seems to take the responsibility for our sportspersons testing positive for drugs.

The Ministry and the SAI argue that it was basically not their duty/responsibility to get the athletes dope tested because they are under the control of IOA and various sports federations. Federations have ready excuse about the high cost of these tests and the lack of latest sophisticated facilities for this purpose in the country.

''Thus, at the end of the day, nobody was ready to own the responsibility for the bad name that such incidents bring to the nation,'' the report said.

''The Committee feels extremely unhappy about the continuing indifference shown by all sports bodies -- Ministry, SAI, IOA, federation to such a serious malaise. Involving many agencies in this, the Committee feels, has only complicated the matter. They appear to be passing the buck to each other with no serious efforts being made by any of them to clean the mess that plagued our sports,'' it added.

Sharing the concern of the common people on the growing trend of doping among weightlifters and athletes, the Committee was clueless on how the athletes manage to clear the dope tests before leaving for an international event and then flunk tests outside.

''This means that either our test facilities and procedures are faulty or there is a possibiity of some sportspersons taking banned drugs after being cleared in the country. If the drug is taken after they have been cleared, the sportspersons should also be held responsible for testing positive during the international events.

Apart from individual sportspersons, their coaches also need to be made more accountable and they need to be more vigilant about this,'' they said.

''The Committee recommends to augment the testing facilities and adopting foolproof procedure for dope testing. We should evolve a mechanism with least possibility of tampering with the samples. The entire procedure should be strictly as per the norms laid by WADA and the punisment has to be as per the World Anti-Doping (Agency) Code.

''The Committee also emphasises an urgent need for educating our athletes, coaches and other supporting personnel about the harmful effects of doping on their health as well as to the prestige of the nation,'' the report said.

UNI AY PM HS1528

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