Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Woman discus thrower Krishna Poonia, who touched a personal best 63.41 metres last year, is the only Indian athlete to be included in the Registered Testing Pool of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) this year.

This means Poonia will be the lone Indian to provide whereabouts information to the IAAF till the latter enlarges the list the next time this year.

The new whereabouts rule, formulated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had come in for criticism across the world of sports.

It requires an athlete to provide whereabouts information through the year and stipulates that an athlete keep aside one hour a day at a designated place to be available for testing.

Poonia, though she had a good run in the US where she trained prior to the Olympics, failed miserably in the Beijing Games, managing only 58.23m to be 24th in the qualifying round.

Anju out of the pool

For the first time in many years, long jumper Anju Bobby George is out of the Registered Testing Pool. The Indian list that went up to an astonishing 41 in 2007 had come down to five last year.

Quite surprisingly, not a single Indian athlete was tested last year under the IAAF out-of-competition testing programme as against 20 tested in 2007 and 40 in 2006.

In fact, in 2006, India topped the chart for Asia, ahead of China, Japan and Qatar, and was fourth in the world.

In the testing statistics for 2008 released by the IAAF on Wednesday, Russia topped the out-of-competition testing list with 181 athletes. Belarus (148), China (126), USA (121), Jamaica (101), Morocco (101), Kenya (90), Greece (87), Ukraine (73) and Ethiopia (71) were the other countries that figured in the top-10 list.

The testing figures do not include tests conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) prior to the Beijing Games.

It also does not include tests conducted by WADA, mostly coordinating with international federations and National Anti-Doping Organisations.

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