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Anti-doping bill gets Lok Sabha nod

Bill seeks to provide a statutory framework for the functioning of NADA and NDTL

Discus thrower Baljinder and sprinter Parveen flunk dope test Representational Image | PTI

Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill which seeks to provide a statutory framework for the functioning of the National Anti-Doping Agency and the National Dope Testing Laboratory.

The National Anti-Doping Bill was passed by a voice vote along with certain official amendments moved by the government.

Responding to debate on the bill, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anurag Thakur said it will promote sports and protect the interest of sportspersons.

He said it will also help enhance dope testing facilities in the country.

The bill is intended to provide a "statutory framework for the operation of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) and other dope testing laboratories, and for the creation of a National Board for Anti-Doping in Sports to strengthen anti-doping activities in sport".

It seeks to give NADA powers of "investigation, levying sanctions for anti-doping rule violations, the disciplinary procedures to be adopted and the powers of inspection, sample collection and sharing and free flow of information."

It also provides for the establishment of the NDTL and other dope testing laboratories.

The bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in December last year and had undergone the scrutiny of a parliamentary committee.

Responding to a debate on the bill, Thakur said in the future work would be done to open more testing laboratories based on need.

Expressing his gratitude to the members of the House for supporting the bill and giving important suggestions during the debate, he said that India is moving ahead in the field of sports.

"In 121 years if any athlete has created record of winning the gold medal, then he is Neeraj Chopra who has brought laurels to the country...and I congratulate him for this achievement," he said.

The minister stressed that in order to organise international tournaments in India there was a need to increase the strength of testing laboratories.

"This bill will safeguard the interest and rights of the sportspersons," Thakur said.

The country is moving in the direction of paperless dope control measures, he said and ensured the House that the data concerning the athlete will not be shared with any irresponsible person.

Participating in the discussion, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said the bill will prevent unnecessary litigation between sportspersons and NADA, which currently does not have legislative backing.

He also underlined the need for educating sportspersons about the perils of doping and using banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Rahul Ramesh Shewale of the Shiv Sena said efforts should be made to give sportspersons dope-free supplements.


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