Indian golfers will now come under the ambit of international anti-doping rules as the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) which marks 10 years of its inception, on Saturday, took the initial steps in implementing the international doping guidelines.
With anti-doping regulations and framework already being in place on most of the international golf tours, Indian golfers playing at the international stage had already been subject to the said rules and procedure in the past.
As golf became part of the Olympic fold with the 2016 Games in Rio, the need for having an anti-doping structure on the PGTI tour became even more imperative.
The PGTI's objective of enforcing international anti-doping rules on its tour has been to provide a level-playing field to all professionals and conform to global standards in this sphere.
The PGTI thus took the initiative of introducing its members to the concept of doping over a year back. Players were educated about the 'Do's and Don'ts' of doping through a series of workshops and the distribution of exhaustive literature on the subject.
The deck has now been cleared for the actual implementation of the anti-doping rules later this year when golfers will start undergoing random dope tests on a regular basis.
Uttam Singh Mundy, Director, PGTI, said, "As an internationally-recognized tour, the PGTI strives to match global standards in all spheres of the sport of golf. This includes the essential anti-doping mechanism which has become an integral part of professional golf.
"The adoption of international anti-doping rules and procedure by the PGTI will help create an ideal learning environment for Indian professionals with stress on ethics, fair play, honesty, sportsmanship and equal opportunity for athletes.
"The PGTI's anti-doping mechanism, due for implementation later this year, will go a long way in further raising the stature of the tour and upholding the 'spirit of the sport'."