379 Indian sportspersons caught for doping in the last 4 years, says Sports minister Vijay Goel
The number of Indian sportspersons who flunked the dope test rose to 120 in 2015.
A shocking fact came to the fore from the Sports Minister of India on Wednesday, when he told the Parliament on Wednesday that a total of 379 sportspersons have been caught for doping over the course of last four years. On the basis of information received from the National Anti-Doping Agency, minister Vijay Goel recorded, in a written reply, the huge number of dope offenders in the country in the last four years.
While 96 and 95 dope offenders were caught by the agency in 2013 and 2014 respectively, the number of sportspersons who flunked the dope test rose up to 120 last year in 2015. Until the month of October in 2016, 68 sportspersons had tested positive in the tests, which took the tally to a total of 379 in the period of four years from 2013 to 2016.
Most recently, it was Haryana’s 200-metre sprinter Dharambir Singh who was slapped with a ban of eight years by the National Anti-Doping Agency for failing a dope test at the last minute before the Rio Olympics.
"The Government of India has framed National Sports Development Code (NSDC) of India, 2011 which has been effective from 31/01/2011 for the healthy development of sports in the country. The NSFs are required to comply with the provisions of NSDC which includes strict compliance to the government guidelines to prevent unethical practices in sports such as doping," Goel said in a written reply to a question in the Upper House of the Parliament, Rajya Sabha.
The question that had been put forth prior to this reply was whether the Government had issued any directives to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and other sports federations across the country to ensure that doping issues did not occur in the future.
The minister emphasised on the role of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and the work that has been done by its subordinate agency NADA in India to tackle the issue of doping through educational and awareness programmes for the athletes.
"To implement anti-doping rules as per World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, regular dope control programme and create awareness about doping and its ill effects, the government has created National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) mandated for dope free sports in India. NADA regularly informs Sports Authority of India (SAI) as well as National Sports Federations (NSFs) about the doping incidence and its further control. NADA also sensitises SAI and NSFs to organise anti-doping awareness sessions for the athletes and support personnel with an aim to discourage the athletes from using banned drug,” Vijay Goel stated in the reply as reported by the Press Trust of India.