Sports Ministry asks NADA to conduct dope tests at state meets

The AFI had earlier claimed that many positive dope cases in athletics come from departmental and lower level meets.

Representative image: The AFI had requested the sports ministry to conduct dope testing at state meets.   -  AP

The Sports Ministry, on a request from the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), has asked the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to conduct dope tests for all state meets.

The AFI, in the ACTC (Annual Calendar of Training and Competitions) meeting held on May 21 and 22 under the chairmanship of the sports secretary, had requested the ministry to conduct dope testing at state meets.

“In order to curb doping in athletics at the lower level events in the domestic circuit, the AFI asked the Sports Ministry to conduct dope tests at all the state meets and the government has agreed to our proposal. The Sports Secretary said the ministry will issue necessary directions to the NADA to conduct these tests,” AFI media manager Divesh Bhal said on Wednesday.

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Dope testing of athletes at important national meets had been a cause of friction between the AFI and NADA. Issues regarding ratification of national records have often cropped up due to late on non-arrival of NADA's dope testing teams.

The AFI had earlier claimed that many positive dope cases in athletics come from departmental and lower level meets.

In a circular issued to state units, AFI secretary C K Valson wrote that “NADA will take appropriate action regarding conduct of dope tests during state meets”.

“In the (ACTC) meeting, it was decided that the dope tests will be carried out during all the state meets and state meets will be conducted as per the calendar submitted by you to Athletics Federation of India. Details of the persons arriving will be informed to you well in advance,” he wrote.

Valson asked the state officials to cooperate with the NADA representatives in facilitating efficient and fair conduct of the dope tests.

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“States who do not cooperate in this regard, their state meet results will not be validated by AFI,” he said.

The AFI also decided to constitute a team of experts in every state to spot and groom talent in the age group of under-14 and 16.

The state units have been asked to recommend names of coaches and international athletes who are interested to be part of the committee.