Just one out of a total of 31 leading National Sports Federations (NSFs) has a provision for anti-doping measures in its constitution or governing documents. That happens to be the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).

Leading federations, all in the Olympic programme, that do not have any anti-doping provision in their constitutions include those controlling archery, badminton, basketball, boxing, football, cycling, hockey, judo, gymnastics, rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling, according to a report card prepared by the Union Sports Ministry.

“The World Anti-Doping Code is mandatory for the whole Olympic Movement”, says Rule 44 of the Olympic Charter.

Under the Code a National Olympic Committee (NOC) has to ensure that its anti-doping policies and rules conform to the Code and it should demand, as a condition of membership, the National Federations should comply with applicable provisions of the Code.

After having somehow convinced WADA in 2006 that it was Code-compliant despite not having a single mandatory clause in its constitution to deal with the topic, the IOA has once again started talking about implementing the provisions in the revised Code.

Its constitution (2008 version) does make mention of the Code at a few places, but it fails to measure up to the standards laid down by the WADA for Code signatories.

Zero tolerance

Even today, the IOA, despite its professed ‘zero tolerance' towards doping, is not in a position to say ‘yes' to dozens of questions including this important one: “Have all your member National organizations and/or federations implemented anti-doping policies in accordance with your rules?”

The NADA sent out letters to all the NSFs and the IOA on July 21, 2008 seeking their concurrence/comments by August 31, 2008. When only a few replied, a public notice was issued that if their comments were not received by September 15, 2008 it would be presumed that they had no comments to offer and they concurred with the anti-doping rules.

Those who wrote to convey their acceptance were: Aero Club of India, Federation of Motor Sports Club of India, Cycling Federation of India, Cycle Polo Federation of India, Korfball Federation of India and the Indian Powerlifting Federation.

The IOA, AFI and the Indian Weightlifting Federation wrote back, though not entirely in agreement with NADA.

Results management

The AFI commented that it would conduct in-competition testing while out-of-competition testing could be done by NADA. The AFI wanted control over all ‘results management' procedures.

The NADA sought WADA's opinion and came to the conclusion that it would have full responsibility to have dope control at National competitions. However, the AFI continues to manage in-competition testing though it has left disciplinary procedures to NADA for out-of-competition testing. There is also a move to leave all the ‘results management' and disciplinary procedures to NADA.

The IOA, instead of fully co-operating with the NADA, also questioned its authority to collect samples at the National Games. Since then it has been resolved that NADA would direct dope control in association with the IOA.

In all the cases where replies were not received, the NADA categorised them later as ‘deemed acceptance'. The ‘no-replies' brigade included federations in archery, badminton, basketball, boxing, billiards and snooker, chess, cricket, equestrian, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey (men and women), judo, kayaking and canoeing, shooting, rowing, swimming, squash, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, wrestling and yachting.

Keywords: WADAdoping

More In: Other Sports | Sport