Gill backs WADA's programme

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Minister of State for Sports & Youth Affairs M.S. Gill (right) seen with David Howman, Director General, WADA, at the Asia-Oceania Region
Minister of State for Sports & Youth Affairs M.S. Gill (right) seen with David Howman, Director General, WADA, at the Asia-Oceania Region

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill on Monday backed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its programme and said that India wanted to be the strongest supporter of WADA in the fight against doping in sports and it was our National policy.

Gill was delivering the inaugural address at the seventh Asia-Oceania Region inter-Governmental meeting on anti-doping in sports here.

He said from the Beijing Olympics onwards he had said that we wanted more medals in international sports, but only with honour. “That is a clear policy and the message has gone to everyone.”

The minister said that even as we tightened our anti-doping systems there was a need to respect the rights of the sportspersons. He said that after testing the samples within days, panels should meet quickly to give their verdicts and there should be no lingering cases.

(Delay has been a worrying factor for the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) ever since it started bringing up cases before the disciplinary panel. Cases have either been taken up late or have dragged on for months with the final decision coming seven to eight months or even still later after the first report.)

Gill said anti-doping was a matter of great importance to the Government; “to me personally.”

The minister also touched upon the upcoming Commonwealth Games and the security arrangements being provided for the event in a clear effort to assure the delegates that everything that needed to be done was being done to ensure the tightest security possible.

The WADA Director General, David Howman, thanked the Indian Government for its support and pointed out that his organisation had the commitment and support of governments throughout the world.

Delegates from 22 countries — from a total membership of 53 — are here to attend the two-day conference in which it will take up the anti-doping of programme of individual countries and the UNESCO Convention against doping in sport, among other topics.

A presentation was made on Monday about the anti-doping plans for the Commonwealth Games by Munish Chander, Deputy Director General, Doping Control Division, Organising Committee.

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