NEW DELHI: Indian athletes failing the dope tests in state and district-level competitions and also the inter-college, university and school meets will no longer be governed and sanctioned as per the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Such athletes, who have been classified in ‘Others’ category by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), will not be banned for a period of two-four years for their first-time doping offence or the lifetime ineligibility in case of a second anti-doping rule violation (ADRV).
Instead, their positive dope tests will not be reported to the WADA and the ban period of these athletes will be strictly governed by NADA’s newly-framed rules. The ‘Others’ category has been created after the WADA’s amended version of the Code came into effect on January 1, 2021. NADA’s concerned officials will impose a milder penalty on younger athletes failing the dope tests depending upon the seriousness of the offence committed and their cases will be disposed off within a month from the date of provisional suspension.
NADA’s anti-doping disciplinary panel (ADDP), which has been mandated to levy punishment on athletes, will have no role to play in deciding the charges. Athletes competing in the government’s flagship programme Khelo India school, university and youth games will also be sanctioned according to NADA’s new set of rules. The maximum these athletes can be sanctioned will be for two years, but in rare circumstances.
All athletes competing in national and international-level events will continue to be governed by the WADA rules and their ban period will be decided in accordance with the Code. “These upcoming athletes sometimes get misinformed and inadvertently resort to doping. That led to ineligibility for life and their careers get finished at a very early stage. The idea is to offer another chance to them to renew their sporting careers once they come out clean from their ban period. Such categories of athletes have been identified and a list has been prepared,” NADA director general (DG), Navin Agarwal told TOI.