NADA to carry out record dope testingJanuary 30, 2018, Delhi
NEW DELHI: In its bid to weed out the doping menace at the grassroots, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has decided to carry out a record number of drug testing during the Khelo India School Games (KISG), a competition for students in the U-17 age group.
NADA, concerned about the rising number of dope cases among the school and college-level athletes, will be fanning out its Dope Control Officers (DCOs) across the five SAI stadia to collect urine samples of the students who have converged in the national capital for the KISG. The first edition of the KISG will be held from January 31 to February 8 in 16 sports disciplines. According to the government, the event is expected to attract5000school athletes and officials. The best talent selected through the competition will be among the1000 athletes eligible for a scholarship worth Rs 5 lakh each per year for a period of eight years.
“Our target would be to conduct nearly 500 dope tests. This is a huge number in itself given the shortage of DCOs. But sample collection is necessary to eradicate the menace at the school level,” a NADA official told TOI.
Though NADA generally refrains from testing athletes below the U-16 age group due to various factors, the rising number of dope cheats at the school level has prompted the anti-doping watchdog to test these young athletes to keep the sporting eco-system clean.
“This time the athletes below the U-16 age group would also be tested. DCOs have already been zeroing in on the athletes. The medal winners and those setting national records will undergo in-competition testing but our emphasis will be more on the random, out-of-competition testing. That’s the only way to crack the whip. We have obtained the list of athletes who have arrived in Delhi and our DCOs are outdoing their job,” the official added.