The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has put the onus on the national sports federations to implement the no-needle policy. In a meeting on Wednesday, NADA decided to ask respective federations to set up a committee that would monitor the use of needles among athletes.
The policy, implemented strictly at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, allows only those athletes with Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to use needles and that too under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner.
Race walker KT Irfan and triple jumper V Rakesh Babu were asked to return home from CWG at Gold Coast after needles were found from their rooms at the Games Village. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) too has a ‘draft’ no-needle policy according to which a second violation by an athlete can result in a life ban.
Speaking to The Indian Express NADA DG Navin Agarwal said, “NADA believes that the no-needle policy will help in the fight against doping. We have told the national sports federations to implement the policy. So far only one or two federations have begun looking at the no-needle policy. We want all federations to implement the policy as soon as possible.”
Mandatory anti-doping workshop for athletes
He went onto add that it was mandatory for the athlete participating in national-level competition to attend anti-doping awareness programmes conducted by NADA. In case there are a number of athletes who have not attended such a programme, NADA will conduct one just before the meet, if the federation informs them in advance. Last year NADA conducted 80 anti-doping awareness workshops in the country.
“NADA has informed federations that all participants at national-level meets should have attended at least one anti-doping awareness workshop. This will ensure that all athletes are aware of the ills of doping over a period of time. We are willing to conduct a workshop at a short notice before a national-level sports meet if it is needed,” Agarwal added.