Not new fancy ones, Indian athletes caught on 1980 drugs: AFI president Adille Sumariwalla 

Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur, who was sixth at the Tokyo Olympics, recently tested positive for stanozolol, the steroid which led to the fall of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson during the 1988 Olympics.

AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said the federation will w not on work on taking any new steps to curb the doping menace.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Despite big names such as discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur and javelin thrower Shivpal Singh, both Tokyo Olympians, failing dope tests recently, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is not working on any new steps to curb the menace.

“What more can we do? They have been educated, they are well informed on what they can and cannot take and they are not new athletes,” AFI president Adille Sumariwalla told Sportstar.

There is little anyone can do if an athlete insists on self-harm, according to Sumariwalla. "Everybody is aware. I have said in every talk of mine, at the Nationals, stay away from dope. All the testing that we have to do, we are doing. I have pushed for the bill on doping, now the bill is coming. What more can I do?”

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Doping is big business the world over and new drugs pop up every year. But the flavour in India appears to be different. Every time the new (World Anti-Doping Agency — WADA) list comes, athletes at the national camp are educated. "But none of them is caught on new drugs. They are caught on 1980 drugs,” said Sumariwalla. “Which means they are all picked up from the local market somewhere. They are not some fancy synthetic drugs.”

Incidentally, Kamalpreet, who was sixth at the Olympics, tested positive for stanozolol, the steroid which led to the fall of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, who left the 1988 Seoul Olympics in disgrace.

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Why train in Turkey?

The AFI’s choice of countries, such as Turkey, Czech Republic and Poland, for overseas camps ahead of major games has also raised eyebrows in many quarters.

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But Sumariwalla found it strange, and explained the advantages of Antalya, where many Indians are currently training.

“The number of doping cases in India is more than in Turkey. So, they should be telling us, you don’t come here, you will dope our athletes,” he said. “The Turkey site is the only one in the world which has got a hill, sand and track... all the three facilities. And the weather is good.”

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