Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel has taken serious note of the incidence of doping in the country and has directed National Anti Doping Agency (NADA), Indian Olympic Association (IOA), National Sports Federations and Sports Authority of India (SAI) to adopt a policy of ‘zero tolerance’ towards doping. The Minister has asked NADA to organise a seminar with all stakeholders tomorrow to discuss the issue threadbare and finalize an effective strategy to deal with the menace, including the possibility of making doping a criminal offence. He has also directed the NADA to sensitize the players at grassroots level about the ill-effects of doping through regular seminars and information campaigns at schools and colleges.
Goel added that the government is contemplating to set up a mechanism to test food supplements, so that athletes can be sure that the food supplements they are using are free of prohibited substances. He also emphasized on a scientific approach to diet and nutrition for athletes. This assertion from the Sports Minister comes days after Arjuna Awardee footballer Subrata Paul tested positive for a banned substance.
Subrata failed a dope test conducted by the NADA) in Mumbai when the Indian men’s football team was going to Cambodia for a friendly match in February. The goalkeeper will now go for the confirmatory ‘B’ sample test. Paul, who made his debut in 2007, has made a total of 60 appearances for the national team so far. Paul, nicknamed the ‘ Spiderman’, has also won Nehru Cups (2007, 2009) and the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Challenge Cup in 2008.