Thursday, 15 April 2010

Dope tests to begin before Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) would be testing athletes prior to the Delhi Commonwealth Games apart from conducting a record number of 1500 tests during the Games. In what is termed as the ‘Games period', beginning from the date of opening of the Games Village (around September 23) to the closing of the Games (October 14), the CGF will have the jurisdiction to test the athletes.

“During this time the CGF is empowered to conduct doping control tests on all athletes accredited for the Games no matter where they are, both outside and inside India,” said the CGF Medical Commission Chairman, M. Jegathesan, in a communication to The Hindu.

Dr. Jegathesan, winner of the 200 metres gold in the 1962 Asian Games and sprint double winner in the 1966 Asiad, said that if the sportspersons were to be in India at that time, then the CGF would utilise the services of the anti-doping team of the Games for the dope control.

If they were going to be outside India, then the CGF would enlist the help of a variety of individuals and organisations including the National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), the International Federations and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to “collect samples on our behalf,” Dr. Jegathesan said.

“These tests which we do will be called as ‘pre-competition' tests”, he said.

“Outside of this period the responsibility and authority to conduct out-of-competition testing will be in the hands of national authorities, international federations or WADA and they have ongoing programmes to do so,” said Dr. Jegathesan, who is also a member of the Medical and Anti-Doping Commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Hopefully, the NADOs, wherever in existence, including that in India and the WADA would step up their out-of-competition testing programme to target the athletes months before the start of the Games. For, dope cheats normally ensure that traces of most of the prohibited substances are flushed out of their systems weeks before competition arrives.

The pre-Games testing done before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including those outside the International Olympic Committee's prescribed period, and that prior to the recent Vancouver Winter Olympics had proved highly successful.


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