The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday expressed concern over reports of kabaddi players and athletes testing positive for banned substances and asked the concerned federations to take strict action against the guilty sportspersons.

In what has become a periodic expression of concern at doping that has been rampant in Indian sports for more than a decade, the IOA once again talked of “zero tolerance” towards the malaise.

The IOA acting president, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, said in a statement that the IOA wanted to know the full facts behind the doping reports.

Big scam

Malhotra said there seemed to be a big scam behind the drug scandal in which not only the athletes but officials were also involved.

He repeated his demand for a comprehensive inquiry to expose the nexus between the drug suppliers, coaches, doctors and other officials along with sportspersons involved. 

Malhotra also asked the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) to take action against the guilty persons quickly. “There is no use of keeping matters pending for months together which sends wrong signal to guilty sportspersons and officials.”

The IOA is on a weak wicket on the topic of anti-doping measures. Under its regime since the 1990s, doping had flourished with reasonable to outstanding success by the athletes in the 1998 and 2002 Asian Games.

It had swept under the carpet an entire batch of 17 ‘positive' reports at the Punjab National Games in 2001 and subsequently ignored several others when individual federations confined such reports to the dust-bin.

At the moment, the IOA as well as SAI can only wait for the NADA to complete hearing processes against those accused of doping.

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