Set up 24×7 helpline for athletes: Gopichand on doping

New Delhi: Concerned about the rise in doping violations, chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand today suggested setting up of a 24×7 medical helpline to ensure that sportspersons don’t use over-the- counter drugs.

The former All England champion came up with the suggestion during the sixth meeting of the All India Council of Sports (AICS) chaired by Vijay Kumar Malhotra.

“Shri Gopichand mentioned that most of the sportspersons take off the counter medicines like Corex and get caught in dope. In the recent case of women athlete also, it is doubted that she took medicine for stomach upset and got caught in dope,” the AICS said in a statement.

“Shri Gopichand suggested that NADA should create a 24×7 helpline so as to enable sportspersons to seek advice before taking any medicine.”

Sprint queen P T Usha pointed out that only two dope collecting officials are deployed for a large numbers of sportspersons

“During this time, there are chances of inter-changing the dope samples.”

Sports Authority of India’s director general Injeti Srinivas said it would be better if each federation appoints an expert director for each discipline, one who should be available to give advice to their respective sportspersons.

The SAI DG also mentioned that as a precautionary measure, the dope collecting officers are regularly changed to avoid any vested interested.

Malhotra expressed his anguish over the rampant cases of dope and the recent media coverage “tarnishing the image of not only sports but also the image of the country”.

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