Olympic standard in doping for India

According to WADA’s ADRV report, India had 59 cases and are behind Russia with 135.
For representational purposes (File | Reuters)
For representational purposes (File | Reuters)

CHENNAI:  India once again are among the top three on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of violators. As a nation, we may not be on top at multi-discipline global events like the Olympics but when it comes to anti-doping stats, India are among the top three countries. This time India are second on WADA’s Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) published a couple of days ago. These are anti-doping violations after all procedures are over.

According to WADA’s ADRV report, India had 59 cases and are behind Russia with 135. According to the 2020 testing figures of the National Anti-Doping Agency, India had collected 1186 samples, including 65 blood samples out of which 55 returned positive. Four other positives were through other independent agencies. Contrary to 2019, when there were a number of pending cases, this time all were part of the ADRV. In 2019, the ADRVs for India were 152 and were third behind Russia (167) and Italy (157). Interestingly, in 2019, according to WADA Testing Figures Report India had 225 positive cases from 4004 samples. However, there were 89 cases where a hearing was still pending. 

The sampling after 2019 has seen a drop especially due to Covid. Compared to 2015-2019 when there were a very high collection of samples by NADA, in 2020 the numbers reduced to 1086. In 2121, India’s testing authority NADA collected 1794 samples, including 144 blood samples (55 in competition and 89 out of competition). Out of those samples, 42 tested positive and this is the highest among those Anti-Doping Organisations (ADOs) that have collected more than 1000 samples. South Africa (2.9%) is the other country that is above India in terms of percentage but they have collected only 956 samples.

The numbers for Russia too seem interesting. There are 52 ADRvs listed from 6861 samples collected by Russian Anti-Doping Agency, the figures are similar to the testing report numbers. What seems interesting is that the USA which had 136 positive cases ended up with 57 ADRVs. At 81, US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is the only country that has the highest number of ‘No case to answer’. It is something unheard of in India.

According to WADA, “the No Case to Answer: Cases closed at the results management level, excluding TUE cases. Such cases include for example, authorized route of administration for glucocorticosteroids; departure from International Standards; or cases outside of WADA’s jurisdiction (including non-Code signatories).” The cases in the US that don’t get into the ADRV list could be due to sports that don’t fall under WADA jurisdiction. There were a total of 263 non-analytical findings in 2020 and India had four which includes penalty for evasion or refusal to give samples and even possession and supply of prohibited substances.

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