The dark clouds of doping returned to haunt the Kerala State Schools Athletics Championship, the 57th edition of which is in progress here, as used syringes were found in the gents toilet at the Maharaja’s College Stadium on Sunday.
While the National Anti-doping Agency (NADA) had monitored the previous two editions of the prestigious meet for schools, the organisers clarified that the NADA team won’t be collecting samples this year. This has led to suspicion that some athletes might be taking advantage of the lack of monitoring to use performance enhancing agents.
Though the organisers of the meet being held under the supervision of the state education department had requested NADA to extend their services to the four-day meet, it is learnt that NADA excused itself citing other national commitments.
Meanwhile, former stars like Padmini Selvan and Mercy Kuttan have voiced their concerns regarding the unavailability of a testing mechanism. The organisers should have taken steps early enough to ensure the presence of NADA at the meet, they pointed out.
Though it is yet to be confirmed if any athlete has resorted to illegal means, the incident has left a sour taste in the mouth of those in attendance.