In a rather unflattering piece of news for the country’s sports buffs, it has emerged that up to 100 Indian sportspersons had tested positive for using banned performance enhancing drugs.
The guilty athletes were caught after their blood and urine samples were analysed by the the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL).
And the test results were revealed by the NDTL in a recent presentation before Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh.
According to the data, which includes analysis carried out till November 15, as many as 96 out of the total 3,144 sportspersons whose samples had been analysed had tested positive for the banned drugs.
Out of 1,991 samples sent by Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Saudi Arabia, 59 had tested positive.
In 2011, the NDTL had tested 2,865 national samples, out of which 121 returned positive. During the same period, 104 of the 1,659 international samples tested here turned positive.
For the uninitiated, though, 225 positive samples out of 4,524 may not hold much significance. But according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) statistics for 2011, India with the highest percentage of positive samples tops the list of all WADA-accredited laboratories across the world.
India was ahead of other laboratories in Bangkok, Thailand, where 3.59 samples had tested positive. Ghent in Belgium was placed a distant third with 2.2 per cent of the samples testing positive. The doping charges have been frequently hitting the Indian sports, thus exposing the rampant use of performance enhancing drugs.
And the sports fans were stunned when three of the country’s top female athletes — Ashwini Akkunji, Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose — part of India’s 4x400m relay team which won the gold at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and the Guangzhou Asian Games tested positive last year.
The sports discipline-wise analysis of positive samples revealed that the non-Olympic sports like kabaddi, powerlifting and Body building were the main offenders in India. Of the 225 positive cases detected last year, kabbadi had 70, followed by bodybuilding (41), athletics (30), weightlifting (25), power lifting (13), boxing (12) and wrestling (6).
Sources said that going by the statistics compiled by the NDTL, the positive cases have dropped in the 15 years since 1997, when a whopping 17 per cent of the samples had tested positive.
In 2000, it stood at 12 per cent, which then hovered between 3 and 4 per cent. However, the graph started to rise again and touched 5.1 per cent in 2011.