NADA launches Independent Observer Programme

Issues and modalities for proper supervision over dope control process were discussed at a meeting held at the NADA office in Delhi on Thursday.

Former athletes, dope control experts and sports scientists have been roped in to carry out the programme.   -  AP (Representative Image)

In order to improve the quality of dope testing, increase its conformity with international standards and reduce chances of any malpractices by Dope Control Officers, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has launched an Independent Observer Programme.

Former athletes, dope control experts and sports scientists have been roped in to carry out this programme.

Issues and modalities for proper supervision over dope control process were discussed at a meeting held at the NADA office in Delhi on Thursday. Meanwhile, NADA claimed that it exceeded the WADA recommended testing target of 3000 samples during 2017. According to figures provided by NADA, a total of 3594 samples, including 282 blood samples, were collected during the year.

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The maximum number of samples were collected during the January-March quarter (1143), followed by October-December (1032), April-June (911) and July-September (508). NADA said the out-competition tests (1668) have increased in 2017.

‘Large number of tests’ planned

As per the Niti Aayog's recommendation to increase the testing figures to 5000 from 2017-18 onwards, NADA has increased its target 'subject to enhanced manpower and additional budgetary allocation.' "As most national level competitions take place during January to March, a large number of tests (about 2000) have been planned for the current quarter as per the Test Plan on the basis of risk assessment and other prescribed parameters," said a statement.

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The Mass Athlete Awareness Programme Against Doping (MAAPAD) launched by NADA during 2016 has borne fruit and the incidence of doping in India (which till 2015 was third highest in the world) significantly reduced in 2016 and 2017 due to successful implementation of various preventive measures, claimed NADA.

The anti-doping rule violations during 2015 stood at 120, which reduced to 73 in 2016 and 69 in 2017. Altogether 52 anti-doping awareness programmes were held in 2016 and 64 during 2017.