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Stiffer sentence for drug cheats: NADA chief

FEATURED WRITER
News 31 Jul 2013, 20:02 IST
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London 2012 Unveil the Anti-Doping Laboratory For The Olympic Games

Vials of ‘A’ urine samples in the anti-doping laboratory

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) chief Mukul Chatterjee Wednesday confirmed that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is set to increase the ban for serious doping offences from two years to four in November. The new rule will come into effect from Jan 1, 2015.

WADA had started work on the proposed amendments to the third draft of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code in November 2011. The review process included three phases of consultations and it will conclude at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov 12-15.

“Stringent punishment is needed for dope offenders and that is why the WADA will be doubling the punishment from two to four years at the World Conference in Johannesburg,” Chatterjee told IANS.

“The amendment will be carried out in November and will come into effect from Jan 1, 2015. A life ban on an athlete will be too harsh. Four years, I feel, is a long time in an athlete’s career,” he added.

Two big events slated to take place in 2015 are the IAAF World Championships in Beijing (Aug 22-30) and the IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia.

The new amendment would act as a major deterrent especially after the athletics world was thrown into turmoil with the news of American sprinter Tyson Gay and Jamaica’s Asafa Powell being found guilty of taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Chatterjee also stressed the need for India to fight against doping in the sport sooner than later.

The latest doping scandal to hit Indian shores was when shot putter P Udaya Laxmi returned positive for Methylhexaneamine (MHA), a prohibited stimulant designed to aid weight loss and increase energy.

The tests came out a day before the start of the 20th edition of the biennial Asian Athletics Championships at Balewadi, Pune, July 3-7.

“Her A sample returned positive for MHA and we found that out only at 6 in the evening, a day before the start of the competition,” Chatterjee told IANS.

AFI was incensed by the fact that NADA chose to announce the name of the tainted athlete just a day before the championship. However, Chatterjee explained that the secretary general of the AFI was informed immediately.

“There was nothing more we could have done, it was our duty. As soon as the test result came, we asked the AFI secretary general to pull her out of the squad since she was already there,” said Chatterjee.

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