National Anti-Doping Bill

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    • Recently, Parliament passed the National Anti-Doping Bill.

    What do you mean by Doping?

    • Meaning: The term “doping” refers to the use of prohibited medications, drugs, or treatments by athletes with the intention of improving athletic performance.
    • Regulation: In 1967 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned doping, and in 1999 the IOC led the initiative to form the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
      • WADA forms the backbone of anti-doping laws and testing worldwide, and assists in setting the standard for other agencies and sports. 
      • WADA’s main activities include education of the health risks of doping, scientific research of doping practices, development of anti-doping capabilities, and development of testing methods for doping detection.
    • Criteria that constitutes doping: 
      • It enhances performance
      • It presents a risk to the athlete’s health
      • It is contrary to the spirit of the sport
    • Issues associated with doping:
      • Athletes would often suffer adverse health effects and even premature death that seemed to be associated with the doping practices.
      • Stunted growth and disruption of puberty in children.
      • Steroid use can be associated with depression, and in some cases, suicide.

    Major provisions of the Bill 

    • Statutory authority
      • The Bill is intended to provide a statutory framework for the operation of the National Anti-Doping Agency, the National Dope Testing Laboratory and other dope testing laboratories and for creation of a National Board for Anti-Doping in Sports to strengthen anti-doping activities in sport. 
      • Statutory framework in the form of legislation for prohibition of doping in sports and enforcing anti-doping activities in the country.
    • Investigation
      • The bill provides for planning, implementing, and monitoring anti-doping activities as well as investigating anti-doping rule violations
    • Prohibition
      • The legislation prohibits athletes, athlete support personnel, and other persons from engaging in doping in sports. 
    • Punishment
      • The violation of anti-doping rules may result in disqualification of results including forfeiture of medals, points, and prizes, ineligibility to participate in a competition or event for a prescribed period, and financial sanctions
    • The proposed Bill intends to accomplish:
      • Building institutional capabilities in anti-doping and enabling hosting of major sports events;
      • Protecting rights of all sportspersons;
      • Ensuring time-bound justice to athletes;
      • Enhancing cooperation among agencies in fighting doping in sports;
      • Reinforcing India’s commitment to international obligations for clean sports;
      • Independent mechanism for anti-doping adjudication;
      • Providing legal sanctity to National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) & National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL);
      • Establishing more Dope Testing Labs;
      • Creating job opportunities both, directly & indirectly; and
      • Creating opportunities for academic research, science and manufacturing relating to Anti-Doping.
      • Establishing standards for the manufacturing of nutritional supplements for sports in India.

    Facts/ Data

    • National Sports University worth 900 crore rupees is in Manipur.
    • India bagged seven medals in the Tokyo Olympics which is the highest in the Indian Olympic history

    Significance of the Bill 

    • Club of select countries
      • India will now join the League of Nations like the US, China, France, Australia, Japan, S Korea to have a law and dope test laboratory.
      • Around 30 countries have their own Anti-Doping Law.
    • Increase the testing capacity
      • India could carry out only about 6,000 tests a year at present and the proposed legislation would help increase the testing capacity significantly.
      • For holding any major international championship, the number of tests required could be as high as 10,000 a month.
    • Testing facility
      • The Bill will also pave the way for establishing more Dope Testing Laboratories in the country. 
      • Samples from 16 countries were tested in laboratories located in India.
    • Focus on the field of sports medicine
      • All competitions should be brought under NADA and sought more focus on the field of sports medicine and science to help players recover from injuries.
    • Awareness, education and research 
      • The passing of the Bill will help to increase awareness, education and research facilities related to anti-doping within the country.

    Way Forward

    • Strong message to the world: The making of this Law will send a strong message to the world that India is very serious about sports, sportspersons and tackling doping.
    • Highest standards of integrity: The new Law will ensure highest standards of integrity while participating and preparing for sports competitions, domestically and internationally. 
    • UNESCO convention: It also seeks to give effect to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation International Convention against doping in sports and compliance with such other obligations and commitments. 
    • Sports infrastructure: the government will leave no stone unturned in the promotion of sports and enhancing facilities for the sportspersons and creating sports infrastructure.
    • North-east India: Government has worked on Act East policy as athletes from the northeast have made an immense contribution to a sports arena in India.

    National Anti Doping Agency (NADA)

    • It is under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports
    • It was set up as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 in 2005 with a mandate for Dope free sports in India.
    • The primary objectives are to implement anti-doping rules as per WADA code, regulate dope control programmes, to promote education and research and create awareness about doping and its ill effects.
    • NADA includes scientists and representatives from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
    • Recent activities by NADA:
      • NADA has developed an anti-doping education and awareness generation toolkit with the use of technology.
      • Awareness generation right down the school level about what comprises doping and related aspects. 

    Source: TH