HYDERABAD : A fresh attempt has been launched to criminalise doping in the country, with preliminary discussions underway for a bill to that effect.
The sports ministry has been trying to criminalise doping for a few years now, but have met with little success. On Saturday, National Anti Doping Agency director general Navin Agarwal told Express that discussions were underway for a bill. “There have been preliminary discussions. After some time, it will go to the Law Ministry,” he said. “Maybe in six months, there will be something.”
The sports ministry, though, will need the collusion of both the health and law ministry before such a bill is passed and a number of existing legislation will have to be repealed.
Agarwal said that the move was aimed at protecting clean athletes. “As per the WADA code, the punishment for doping goes to the athlete,” he said. “What we have seen is that in a large number of cases, it is not an athlete taking the banned substances. It is the coach who has induced him to take the banned substances.
“On certain occasions they take nutritional supplements on which it is not proclaimed that it contains the banned substances. In some cases, the doctors prescribe banned substances. The real culprits in those cases are some other people. The athlete is punished and the main people who are behind this go scot-free. They have nothing to lose.”
The bill’s repercussions will go far beyond the sports sector, Agarwal added. “It is essentially more of a public health issue,” he said.
“Even the general public, not just the athletes fall victim to this. If you take the case of gyms in small towns, next to it, you will find a shop selling supplements for muscle growth.
They are the ones selling these substances to people who want to strengthen their body. But the people who use this are harming themselves and they are unaware. We would be also including all these things.”