WADA Report: India is joint 6th in list of doping violations

In the latest report, India has 69 ADRV, the same as that of Russia, a country which has been under intense international scrutiny for years now.

Nevertheless, India can take solace from the fact that it has significantly improved its position to sixth, after being the joint third for three years in a row.   -  AP

India maintained its dubious record of being among top 10 nations with regards to doping violations, being joint sixth, as World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published its report, as per samples collected in 2016.

However, in the latest report, published on Thursday, India has 69 Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV), the same as that of Russia, a country which has been under intense international scrutiny for years now.

Nevertheless, India can take solace from the fact that it has significantly improved its position to sixth, after being the joint third for three years in a row.

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For three years in a row, from 2013-15, India was ranked third in doping violations. The last report of 2015 had 117 sportspersons from the country being punished after testing positive for banned substances.

Italy topped the rankings of drug cases in 2016, accounting for 147 ADRVs, followed by France (86), United States (76), Australia (75), Belgium (73). Brazil and Iran are at joint eighth with 55 ADRVs, while South Africa is at 10th with 50.

The number of dope violations for India has reduced, but the trend of sports, which are mostly under the scanner, remain same. Athletics has 21 offenders, expectedly, followed by weightlifting and powerlifting with 14 each. Kabaddi has nine dope offenders, while wrestling contributed five. Aquatics, bodybuilding, handball (university), para-athletics, taekwondo and volleyball contributed one each to make it a total count of 69.

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“I am happy that the number of doping violations has decreased and our position has improved, though we need to do even more,” NADA DG Navin Agarwal said.

“Our concerted effort has started showing results. We have been focussing at school and college levels, and we are doing a lot of awareness and educative programmes. We have a zero tolerance on doping and athletes at a young age should know that he or she cannot escape with doping. He or she will be caught at some stage,” Agarwal added.

The report shows that NADA tested 2,831 samples during that year. The world over also, athletics had more cases than any other individual sport with 205, ahead of bodybuilding with 183. Cycling was third with 165 cases, while the drug-tainted sport of weightlifting was fourth with 116.

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Football moved up to fifth in the rankings with 79 cases, though the total number of cases was smaller than 2015 when they reported 108 cases.

In total, WADA dealt with 1,595 doping rule violations across 112 sports in 2016, down from 1,929 cases in 2015. A total of 1,326 rule violations arose from positive drug tests, while the remainder were derived from investigations and evidence-based intelligence, increasingly seen as a key weapon in the war on dope cheats.

“We are continuing to see the impact of intelligence-based testing, an area of increasing focus for the Agency, as we strengthen our investigations and intelligence-gathering capacity,” WADA President Craig Reedie said, in a statement.

“While in and out-of-competition testing remains critical to detecting doping, recent events have shown that investigative work is becoming ever more important, as we look to protect clean athletes’ rights worldwide,” he added.