NADA records show 687 Indian athletes banned for doping since 2009
With wrestler Narsingh Yadav and shot putter Inderjeet Singh reeling under the controversy of failing out-of-competition dope tests conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) barely a month ahead of the Rio Olympics 2016, much is being spoken about the necessity to curb such malpractices in the sporting arena across the country. But the actual proportion of the menace is far more disconcerting than a handful of high-profile sportspersons, of which, records speak volumes.
NADA’s official data accessed by The Times of India shows that a whopping 687 athletes have been banned by the governing body for doping violations committed on or after 1 January 2009, which puts the yearly average at around a hundred.
From 28 cases in 2009, the tally rose to 64 and then 83 in 2010 and 2011 respectively, before attaining an alarming 176 in the London Olympic year 2012. The subsequent years offered little improvement with the numbers reading 104, 107, 53 and finally 72 so far in 2016.
It is hardly a surprise that India has featured among the toppers in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) blacklist, year on year. In 2013, they found themselves placed 3rd, which was maintained in 2014 when the disgraced lot from Russia and Italy were the only two countries they trailed.
A noteworthy fact here is that in the past three decades, the best finish achieved by India at the Olympics in terms of medal winning happens to be the 50th position at Beijing 2008. For a nation with such insignificant stature in world sports, such remarkable statistics in dope-related bans only add to the shame incurred.
Discipline-wise, athletics leads the pack with 266 incidents while weightlifting alone has notched up 169 offenders. With 45 violations, the currently discussed game of wrestling comes 3rd as per NADA’s records. Boxing, judo, kabaddi, cycling and swimming are the other sports to name a few that have fallen prey to the dope crisis.
Today, the checks are being conducted by NADA on national and international-level athletes who take part in school, university and state competitions from time to time. In their bid to reap quicker rewards, many participants are resorting to such unethical tactics which could lead to the termination of their sporting careers unless proven innocent.
For a brighter future of the sporting scene in India, it is, thereby, mandatory that the government implements stricter countermeasures to crack down on the raging problem as early as possible.