The sports ministry announced that the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has launched an outreach programme to make Indian athletes aware about the pitfalls of taking substances which are prohibited by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The move comes on the heels of a WADA report released on Thursday that placed Indian athletes among the top three in the world as far as doping violations are concerned. But the sports ministry is confident that the issue will be effectively dealt with in the near future.
“With increasing awareness among sportspersons regarding these matters number of such cases are likely to go down. NADA deals with matters relating to awareness of doping in sports including dissemination of information, educating the sportspersons, coaches and support personnel on the ill effects of doping through teaching sessions/seminars/workshops and organising dope tests on athletes both in-competition and out-of-competition,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday.
“NADA has launched the ‘Program for Education and Awareness on Anti-Doping in Sports’ (PEADS) since October 2014 with an objective to deal with the fight against doping across the country. The programme has been conducted at various places across the country during sport events/training sessions conducted by National Sports Federations (NSF), Association of all Intra Universities, SAI centres, SAI training centres, School Games Federation and Services Sports Control Boards,” the statement added.
The ministry also informed that the government will establish outreach centres across the country in order to increase awareness among athletes.
“Further, to broaden the outreach program, Government of India has decided to establish five regional outreach centers to increase the anti-doping education and awareness at all levels of sports in the country. Under this initiative, a total number of 64 such educational program/anti-doping workshops were conducted along with stakeholders in association with sports organisations, state sports authorities and physical Education Departments/Colleges/Universities etc,” the statement said.
“In addition, the anti-doping brochures/information has been got translated and printed by NADA in 14 different languages viz. Hindi, English, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Assamese, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Kashmiri and Manipuri languages to ensure the best communication of anti-doping amongst the athlete groups belonging to various parts of India.”
On Thursday, WADA had reported that India had the third highest anti-doping violations in 2014, with 96 cases, behind Russia (148) and Italy (123). Belgium (91), France (91), Turkey (73), Australia (49), China (49), Brazil (46) and South Korea (43) followed India in the top 10. The report was based on the information supplied by various national bodies.