HomeNews‘Doping at lower level is beyond our control’: Stated AFI President Adille...
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‘Doping at lower level is beyond our control’: Stated AFI President Adille Sumariwalla

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Doping has long been a prevalent issue within Indian sports, particularly in the realm of athletics where numerous athletes have been implicated. Athletics stands out globally as the sport with the highest incidence of doping cases. According to findings from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Athletics topped the list in 2020 with 107 reported cases worldwide. Notably, several prominent Indian athletes, including quarter-miler Anjali Devi, Tokyo Olympian racewalker Bhawna Jat, and sprinter Dutee Chand, were among those found guilty of doping violations in the previous year.

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Adille Sumariwalla, the president of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), discussed with The Bridge during the recent Relay Open Carnival. He highlighted the prevalent issue of doping in athletics tournaments at the state and district levels in India. Sumariwalla cited a notable incident from a Delhi state tournament last year where all participants of the 100m race fled upon learning about the presence of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) officials. He emphasized the federation’s commitment to combat doping through available means, including strict policies enforced through periodic raids on national camps and various institutions. Despite these efforts, Sumariwalla acknowledged the ongoing challenge of controlling doping at lower levels, which remains a concern for both the federation and NADA.

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Several weeks following her victory in securing the gold medal, Anjali Devi was found to have tested positive for GW1516. Consequently, she received a one-year ban effective from July 7, 2023. This incident underscores the pressing need for enhanced measures within the Indian sports framework to combat the persistent threat of doping. Such occurrences not only derail athletes’ careers but also tarnish the international reputation of a nation aspiring to become a sporting powerhouse.

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