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NADA's Ban on Sportsmen For Doping is Incorrect, Says Justice Bharuka

Days after former Indian football captain Subroto Paul was tested positive for a banned substance, chairman of the Anti-Doping Appeal Panel of National Anti-Doping Agency of India (NADA) said punishments like ban on sportsmen by the agency are not as per the Constitution till the Parliament makes a law in this regard.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:April 28, 2017, 10:11 PM IST
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As per NADA records, around 100 sportsmen are banned every year.

New Delhi: Days after former Indian football captain Subroto Paul was tested positive for a banned substance, chairman of the Anti-Doping Appeal Panel of National Anti-Doping Agency of India (NADA) said punishments like ban on sportsmen by the agency are not as per the Constitution till the Parliament makes a law in this regard.

Paul, who now stares at the possibility of being debarred, failed a dope test conducted by NADA in Mumbai when the team was on its way to Cambodia for a friendly match last month. The goalkeeper is now all set to go for the confirmatory 'B'" sample test.

Speaking to News 18, Justice Dr GC Bharuka, a former high court judge, called for the Parliament to make a law to impose punishments in doping cases. "As of now, we are debarring players on the basis of the National Anti-Doping Agency Rules based on WADA Code of 2015. We need an anti-doping law which should be in tandem with the International Convention against Doping in Sport, 2005, to which India is a party. Plus, under Article 253, it is only parliament who has the power to make laws for implementing any treaty, agreement or convention." said Bharuka.

Banning a player, Justice Bharuka added, also amounted to infringement of the person's fundamental rights. "The ban violates the right to profession of a citizen under Article 19 (1) (g). This only cements the need for an appropriate legislation," he said.

In a doping violation report published by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for 2015, India was ranked number three with 117 of its athletes having been punished after testing positive for banned substances. Russia led the pack with 176 players, followed by Italy at 129.

India currently penalizes athletes on the basis of the Anti-Doping Rules under NADA, which are based on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code of 2015.

As per NADA records, around 100 sportsmen are banned every year and 70% of them belong to 3 disciplines — athletics, weightlifting and wrestling. Recently, wrestler Narsingh Yadav and shot putter Inderjeet Singh failed the dope test ahead of Rio Olympics. There were 72 athletes across all categories who were censured for dope-related offences till July 18, 2016.

Bharuka's opinion was shared by sports minister Vijay Goel who, realising the need for a legislation, called for a consultation meeting on drafting of an Anti-Doping Law on Wednesday.

Speaking to News18, Goel said the law will impose immediate arrest of the accused.

"The legislation that we aim to bring will penalise, jail and make sure the player, coach and the doctor are immediately arrested. The person supplying the medicines will be punished too. Jail term for the accused is also being looked at," said Goel.

He added that Bharuka's point of rights' violation will be considered while drafting the law. "Doping has gone beyond national athletes and is now prevalent among young children too. We have looked into certain laws in Germany that deal with doping on a larger scale. If the PM wants, the law can be brought in within 2-3 months," he said.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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