Sports Authority of India (SAI) wanted Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to get directly involved in procuring food supplements for the athletes due to the doping menace, sources said on Tuesday.
A few campers at the NIS made complaints to Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal that they have not been provided food supplements for some time.
“For years, SAI has been providing these food supplements to the campers. But recently, it (SAI) decided to stop this practice of giving food supplements to track and field athletes at the NIS because it wants to wash its hands off from the doping violations happening in athletics,” a source at NIS told PTI.
“SAI has asked Athletics Federation of India to provide these supplements henceforth. This will be the first-time job for AFI and they will have to ensure that whatever food supplements they would give to the athletes are dope-free. This must have been the reason for the delay in providing food supplements to the athletes,” the source added.
In a recent report by World Anti-Doping Agency, India emerged as the third worst dope offender globally with track and field athletes contributing the maximum number of dope positive cases.
The AFI officials, though, attributed this to doping at the university, school and government department level meets.
A top AFI official confirmed that the national federation has been asked by SAI to provide the food supplements to the athletes.
The official said the process of procurement of the food supplements is complete and distribution will start from on Wednesday.
“This is the first time the AFI has been told to provide these food supplements to the campers. SAI said they are not going to do the job anymore. It is a complex job and took time as we are doing this for the first time,” the official said.
“We were told by the SAI in the second half of last month. In between we had two legs of India Grand Prix (April 25 and May 6) and Federation Cup (April 28-30). So it took some time but we completed the process last week and the distribution will begin tomorrow,” he added.
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