Lessons from Canada for India on how to handle dope-testing

The big surprise in Indian sport is that many leading athletes have gone without being dope-tested in crucial years, even before the last major championships.

High jumper Tejaswin Shankar feels that if athletes are in the testing pool, they should be tested regularly. (File Photo)   -  PTI

The big surprise in Indian sport is that many leading athletes have gone without being dope-tested in crucial years, even before the last major championships. High jumper Tejaswin Shankar feels that if athletes are in the testing pool, they should be tested regularly.

“To be honest with you, even I haven't been dope-tested for a long time. I fill my whereabouts details but having said that, I might be in a different country, but I think if you're part of any country and if you're in the testing pool, then you should definitely be tested,” he said.

“The last time I was tested in India, I think, was during the Fed Cup before the Commonwealth Games in 2018. But that was the last time I went there as well. The university here carries out regular testing, but then most of the time it's for recreational drugs.”

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Shankar gave an example of how Canada handles dope-testing. “I have a friend who's a Canadian athlete and, like me, she lives in Manhattan too. She has to fill her whereabouts as well. She told me since the (2018) Commonwealth Games, people from the doping control [have visited her] 10 to 11 times already, knocking on her door at 5 a.m. to collect the sample. 

“They are able to send people or probably they have a tie-up with somebody. I see that and I feel, wow, they have some sort of system and their results are in front of everyone. So, I don't think I have to say anything more.”