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Doping Practices In India

  • 07 Oct 2023
  • 4 min read

Source: IE

Why in News?

Recent events at the Delhi athletics championship have highlighted the extent of Doping issue, as competitors fled from doping testers, and some events witnessed a mere single participant.

What is the Doping Menace?

  • About:
    • Consumption of certain prohibited substances by athletes to enhance performance.
  • Extent:
    • Athletes across all levels, from school meets to national championships, engaging in amateur doping practices.
    • Hopes of career breakthroughs and national team spots drive these risky behaviours.
    • Most common usage involves drugs such as Anabolic Steroids.

What is the Long-standing Issue of Doping in Indian Sports?

  • Pervasive Syringe Culture:
    • Images of syringes in stadium bathrooms have persisted for decades.
    • Lack of proactive measures to deter doping practices.
  • Ineffectiveness of National Anti-Doping Agency:
    • NADA's apparent absence in the lead-up to events, such as the Delhi championship.
    • Immediate results when officials conduct tests, indicating widespread doping.
  • Neglected Testing in Remote Areas:
    • Competitions in remote regions proceed without anti-doping officials, potentially concealing higher doping rates.

What Are the Root Causes of the Doping Menace?

  • Coaches and Parents' Quick-fix Mentality:
    • Coaches and parents encourage athletes to seek shortcuts to success.
    • Pressures leading to unethical choices among aspiring athletes.
  • Lethargy in India's Anti-Doping Machinery:
    • Inadequate measures to deter doping and instill fear of testing.
    • A lack of consistent and stringent anti-doping efforts.
  • Societal and Cultural Causes:
    • The lack of effective anti-doping education and awareness among athletes and the general public.
    • The availability and accessibility of performance-enhancing drugs and methods.
    • The culture and environment of sport and society. Athletes may be exposed to a culture that tolerates or encourages doping, either explicitly or implicitly.

What are the Potential Solutions?

  • Promoting a Clean Sports Culture:
    • Encouraging honesty and integrity in sports from a young age.
    • Fostering a culture where doping is unacceptable.
  • Strengthening Anti-Doping Measures:
    • Increasing the presence of anti-doping officials in competitions, even in remote areas.
    • Implementing more stringent and surprise testing.
  • Awareness Campaigns:
    • Educating athletes, coaches, and parents about the dangers of doping.
    • Raising awareness about the consequences of doping on athletes' health and careers.
    • Reducing the availability of doping mixed inputs and diets which sports persons consume unknowingly through the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

What are the Measures taken by the Government to Eliminate Doping in Sports?

  • NADA:
  • The Lok Sabha passed the National Anti-Doping Bill 2021 which seeks to create a statutory framework for the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
  • National Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) Act, 1985: It prohibits a person from producing, possessing, selling, purchasing, transporting, storing, and/or consuming any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
  • WADA:
    • The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was set up under the International Olympic Committee to develop, harmonize, and coordinate anti-doping regulations across all sports and countries.

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