NEW DELHI: Sports Minister Vijay Goel today said that the import and sale of dope-laced nutritional supplements was a cause to worry for his ministry as it sought to re-confirm its commitment to take tough anti-doping measures against drug offenders.
Inaugurating a conclave on 'Nutritional Supplements for Sports' here to work out a doping free model, Goel said time has now come to provide safe and quality nutrition to the athletes in the wake of increasing international competition and high incidences of dope.
Goel said tackling the causes of doping was a priority for his ministry.
"The import and sale of sub-standard and dope-laced nutritional supplement was a cause of worry as an unsuspected athlete gets banned under the Anti-Doping Code because of use of these supplements," Goel said in a ministry release.
"Supplements laced with prohibited substances have been found to be a major cause of doping in India. NADA has taken up the matter with Food Safety and Standards Authority due to which an advisory stand issued by them to the Food Safety Commissioners," said the minister.
He said to protect the clean athletes and meet their requirement for quality supplements, the convergence of various regulatory authorities to work out a dope-free model for nutritional products was a good initiative and a welcome step.
"A collaboration of NADA with FSSAI and other agencies will have far reaching impact in improving physical fitness standards in the country and help athletes in making informed choices," he said.
Goel called upon the stakeholders to create mass awareness about doping and its vicious effects on the career of athletes. He said he will personally understand the level of awareness among athletes by meeting them in different states and training camps during his visits there.
The minister further stated that while collaboration with Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority has enabled India to adopt international practices in dope testing, resulting in a high detection rate, there was also a need for strengthening preventive aspects to reduce the incidence of doping in the country.
He said the deliberations during the conclave will provide a road map of regulatory mechanism for dope free nutritional supplements which can be consumed by athletes without fear of inadvertent doping.
Pawan Kumar Aggarwal, the chief executive officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, eminent scientists, nutritionists, sportspersons, office bearers of sports federations, laboratory directors and regulatory authorities from various parts of the country attended the day-long conclave.