AFI requests NADA to collect more samples from state, junior meets to tackle dope menace

Amritsar: The Athletics Federation of India requested the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to collect more samples from the participants at the state and junior meets across the country to tackle the menace of doping more effectively, AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said here Saturday.
Sumariwalla, who is also the vice-president and executive board member of the World Athletics, said the NADA disciplinary and appeal panels need “better quality of people”, sprucing up them with senior judges.
“I had a meeting with the NADA (officials) yesterday. We wanted them to send (dope collectors) to state meets. We told NADA that we will let them know about the state meets (to be monitored) and they have to send teams across the country,” Sumariwalla said on the sidelines of the two-day AFI Annual General Body Meeting which began here this day.
“Two things can happen — either the athletes will get scared or if you keep doing testing and catch a few, they (dope offenders) will know they can’t do that (doping) in state meets also.”.
Asked who will bear the expenses for the increased number of tests, Sumariwalla said, “It is not important who will pay for the tests. At the end of the day, it is India’s reputation at stake.
“If we continue this, we will have a problem with the world environment. We need to do this if we have to bid for the Olympics, we have to resolve this.
“They (NADA) will have to act to clean up the sport. They came to Maharashtra when we called them.”
Sumariwalla said the athletes who have been caught for doping were aware of the substances they had consumed.
“Everybody knew what they were taking – 99 per cent know what they are taking. It’s not that they don’t know.
“(We) tried with full force, done testing. We have conducted 75 education programmes, distributed 20000 booklets. We have three days of seminars during the NIDJAM (National Inter-District Junior Athletics Meet). In every national championship, we talk about it,” he added.
Sumariwalla said AFI also provided NADA with ample input for the anti-doping watchdog to act on them.
He also hoped for a “better panel with better understanding of the law” to be in place.
“We also want integrity in the chain of command, and we need to improve the (NADA) panel, (by) getting some senior judges.
“We need better quality people because we have seen that people who have been cleared by the panel getting banned by AIU or WADA later.
“We don’t want these things to happen. We want a better panel with people who are having a better understanding of the law,” he signed off.

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