NEW DELHI: With around eight months to go for the Tokyo Olympics and Indian hopes soaring with a string of impressive performances in various World Championships this year, there comes bad news. The number of cases of doping involving Indians continues to be alarming. In the last 11 months, there have 156 failed dope tests.
In a list released by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) in possession on this newspaper, bodybuilders are the prime offenders, with 60 positive tests. That’s not an Olympic event, one can say. The worrying part is, even track and field and weightlifting athletes feature near the top of the list. Other than 26 weightlifters, there are 20 athletes whose urine samples contain traces of illegal performance-enhancing substances.
Even a relatively dope-free sport like shooting has two offenders in 2019. The National Anti-Doping Agency will up its ante on antidoping measures before the Olympics. Its director-general, Navin Agarwal, felt the number of samples collected ahead of the Olympics will be substantial. For the record, 3814 samples have been collected in 2019 so far.
“We have increased our detection rate and all Olympic- bound athletes will be continuously monitored,” Agarwal said. When woman boxer Neeraj Phogat was caught for the drug ligandrol on Monday, it was thought to be the first instance in India of this drug being used. It emerged on Tuesday that three lifters were guilty of using it in 2019. They got hefty bans, but it shows that Indians are not averse to exploring new avenues in doping.
300 tests to be done
at Khelo India To be on the safe side, authorities have decided to conduct 300 dope tests in the
Khelo India meet to be held in Guwahati in January