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Dope testing at Federation Cup football

July 25, 2003 22:38 IST

For the first time, arrangements for dope testing have been made at a national level football tournament in the country, with the Tata Federation Cup, beginning in Kolkata on Saturday, getting the honour.

Announcing this, AFC-appointed medical officer for India Dr Nisith Chowdhury said random dope testing, conforming to FIFA stipualtions, would be conducted during the 14-day tournament.

The matches for the tests will be selected through a confidential draw of lots, he told newspersons on Friday.

One player will be selected through lottery from each of the two teams in the match and the samples would be sent to the FIFA-accredited laboratory in Penang, Malaysia, for the testing.

"The results will be available within a week," he said.

He said all the participating teams have been informed about the tests and a list of medicines banned by FIFA supplied to them.

AIFF secretary Alberto Colaco said FIFA, which has made dope testing mandatory, recently despatched 16 test kits to India.

He said the AIFF had made plans to start the testing from the last edition of the National league, but could not do it then due to lack of infrastructure.

"But we cannot delay the process any more. We need to raise the level of medical awareness of the players," he said.

Meanwhile, Chowdhury informed that East Bengal medio Debjit Ghosh, who suffered a head injury during the club's Asean Cup quarter-final match against Persita Tengerang, is virtually ruled out of action for the Federation Cup.

"As per international code, a player who has suffered a head injury will be allowed to play only after he is completely fit to take to the ground. Usually, that covers a period of three weeks."

As Ghosh had sustained the injury on July 21, going by the code, he cannot play till August 11. The tournament ends on August 8.

Colaco, however, said that the administration of the steroid Decadron, which was included in the list of  edicinces
banned by FIFA, would not open Ghosh to the charge of having used performance enhancing drugs.

Ghosh was given a Decadron injection by East Bengal's team doctor after he fell unconscious following the injury.

"The doctor had given the steroid to save Ghosh's life. As per FIFA procedure, if any player is given a medicine for this purpose, then the doctor has to fill up a form disclosing this. Then if such substance is found on dope testing, the results are regarded as negative," he said.

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