Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Robust mechanism needed to fight doping in India: Malav Shroff


Olympian Dr Malav Shroff, who was recently named as a member of a World-Anti Doping Agency standing committee, feels the country needs to act tough against doping.

Shroff, who represented India in 2004 Olympics in sailing, was appointed to the ‘Health, Medical and Research Committee of WADA’, one of the five standing committees which report to the Executive Committee (ExCo) and play a key advisory role in policy and priority development. The 12-member committee is chaired by Lars Engebretsen of Norway.

“I am deeply honoured to be appointed to a very important WADA committee. It is the first time that an Indian has made it to a WADA standing committee,” said Shroff, an expert in Sports Medicine, whose tenure will run till December 31, 2025.

India ranks very high in doping violations and there has been no drop in the number of cases this year too with some of the top athletes facing bans.

Asked about doping violations in India, Shroff, a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in Orthopaedic Surgery, said, “I think we need to have an independent robust mechanism for dope testing. There has to be more testing, especially during the off-season and training period. Educating the athletes can only be part of the programme to eliminate doping.”

Some big names in athletics like Tokyo Olympians Kamalpreet Kaur, Shivpal Singh were among those who were suspended for doping violations this year. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent body of World Athletics, have conducted tests during an overseas India camp in Antalya. One of the country’s top sprinters Dhanalakshmi Sekar failed a test and was banned for three years.

“I also feel that we need to invest a lot in sports science for athletes to help them enhance their performance. It will show them the correct path to win international medals and not use unfair means to enhance performance,” says Shroff, who is also a member of the Medical Commission, Association of National Olympic Committee and World Olympian Association.

NADA Conclave

The National Anti-Doping Agency on Friday organised an Inclusion Conclave to sharpen the focus on athletes with disabilities.

“All aspects of the anti-doping programme are important even as India is making rapid strides towards excellence in sport. NADA would make all attempts to spread awareness towards making Indian sport, including sport for Athletes with Disabilities, dope-free.” said sports secretary Sujata Chaturvedi.

NADA Director-General and CEO Ritu Sain said the Conclave was a step towards ensuring that anti-doping program is inclusive and athletes with disabilities remain at the core and are not left behind.

She said NADA India is developing Apps to spread awareness and address queries of athletes and support personnel and to help them recognise if any medicine they were being prescribed contains prohibited substances. “We are developing credible content that will overcome geographical, language and disability barriers,” she said.



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