What's the story?
The 57th National Open Athletics Championships kicked off in Chennai on Monday, with some of the biggest names in the country taking part in their respective events. Athletes such as Govindan Lakshmanan and Davinder Singh Kang picked up gold medals, which was not a surprise to many.
However, in a truly shocking development, it has been found that the event has been going on without any dope testing, since there has been no team from the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) that has reached the venue in Chennai.
An Athletics Federation of India (AFI) close to the event confirmed the development to Sportskeeda. "You should ask the NADA why no one came from their side," he said.
He added, "We did everything we had to from our end. We were required to notify them about the event a month in advance, which we duly did. Just one day is left in the tournament and there's no sign of anyone from NADA."
In case you didn't know
This piece of news comes at a time when many of the nation's top athletes have tested positive for banned substances. The most prominent example would be of shot putter Manpreet Kaur, who was removed from India's team at the IAAF World Athletics Championships earlier this year and was suspended after two of her samples tested positive for stimulant dimethylbutylamine.
The heart of the matter
Without any testing, the organization of an event at such a scale becomes pointless. In case any national or international record is broken at the event, it will not be recognized officially since the AFI will not ratify without a dope test.
The same had happened prior to the Rio Olympics as well, when many athletes broke multiple national records but they were not recognized in absence of a valid dope test.
It remains to be seen if any inquiry will be made into the matter. Given the fact there is a new sports minister at the helm in the form of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, one can hope that he will look into the situation.
It is truly shocking to see the state of affairs, especially at a time when many top athletes have tested positive in the recent past. Here's hoping that the matter is looked into and the parties at fault are identified and corrective action is taken.Published 27 Sep 2017, 16:54 IST