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IOA to crack down on doping: Kalmadi
May 24, 2003 00:31 IST
Faced with a series of doping scandals, the Indian Olympic Association said it will crack down on athletes found guilty of doping.
"Earlier, our problem was that we did not have proper facility and equipment to check. We used to catch offenders but they would to go to courts and get themselves released," IOA president Suresh Kalmadi said in Bangalore. "Now, in two months time, for the Afro-Asian Games, we will have IOC-sponsored labs. Now onwards it will be very difficult for anybody to get away."
"We are going in for dope testing in all national championships, in coaching camps and out of competition as well. At the same time, we are educating our athletes (to stay away from drugs)", Kalmadi said.
Kalmadi said 100 countries have confirmed participation for the inaugural Afro-Asian Games, projected as the biggest event after the Olympics, to be held in Hyderabad from October 24 to November 1.
Asked about the 21 athletes found guilty of doping last month during the National Games in December, he said action will be initiated against them once the report is received.
The IOA is also trying to revive the South Asian Federation games following the thaw in Indo-Pak ties.
"We always strongly supported sports between India and Pakistan. We have always argued that we must keep a window open for people-to-people contact," Kalmadi said.
Kalmadi claimed that India has the support of 'most of the countries' for its bid to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Canada is also in the race for hosting the games.
Kalmadi will lead a strong Indian delegation, including Sports Minister Vikram Verma, to London on Saturday to present the bid on May 30.
"The Commonwealth Games keep going to Canada and other places. We have never hosted the Games and we are the biggest country in Commonwealth. It should be held by the principle of rotation," he stressed.
"India, which would take part in the Athens Olympic Games next year, has a mission to win medals in shooting, weightlifting, athletics, tennis, boxing and wrestling," Kalmadi added.