CHENNAI: In its effort to begin dope testing, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has revised its guidelines before sending it to the sports and health ministries for approval.
Because of the changing Covid-19 situation and subsequent restrictions imposed by the health ministry as well as states, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) framed in June had to be revised.
The NADA has stopped collecting samples since lockdown in March.
The revised SOP is broadly based on the lines of the health ministry guidelines, Sports Authority of India’s SOP and other restrictions.
“We have to revise the SOP as health ministry and the states too kept updating their guidelines,” said NADA director general Navin Agarwal.
“The health ministry and the states have their own restrictions.” After six hockey players testing Covid-19 positive in Bengaluru, the NADA would want to tread cautiously too and not put the health of athletes at risk.
“We cannot risk the health of other athletes who are in the camp after what happened to some sportspersons,” said Agarwal.
“So we don’t want to aggravate the situation. Collection has to be done with due precaution.” The NADA had its executive board meeting on Monday and restarting testing of athletes was among the topics discussed.
Though there is no timeframe set for the restart, the NADA would want it to start as soon as possible. As reported by this newspaper, the agency would want to conduct tests at various SAI centres where athletes are training.
In Bengaluru, athletics and hockey players are present, while weightlifters, boxers, and a few track and field athletes are training in Patiala.
In New Delhi, the cycling camp is commencing from August 14.