The Olympic bound athletes need not file Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to have a vaccination for Covid-19, says Navin Aggarwal, director-general of the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA). Since the vaccination is being administered to athletes to treat a medical condition TUE is not required, said Aggarwal.
“Some of the athletes had raised a concern that the Covid-19 vaccination could result in a positive dope test. As a precautionary measure the athletes want to apply for TUE. But I would say the vaccination is safe and there is no need to apply for TUE,” Aggarwal told IANS.
The athletes, says Aggarwal, should keep a detailed record of the vaccination time and date because it should be mentioned when a dope control officer takes a urine or blood sample for a dope test.
“The brand name of the medicine should also be mentioned when filing a dope control form,” Aggarwal said.
This month, sports minister Kiren Rijiju had said that the Tokyo Olympic Games-bound athletes and coaching staff is on the priority list of his ministry.
“We are in a process of discussing the vaccination issue with the health department. The moment we get a green signal we would plan out the details for administering the vaccine to the athletes,” the minister had said in the first week of March.
In February, Rajiv Mehta, secretary-general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), too had written to the health minister regarding the need for Covid-19 vaccine for top athletes.
“All the coaching staff and athletes who have achieved the Olympic qualification should get the nod of the health ministry,” he had said.
In the 2019 Olympic qualification round, the men and women’s hockey teams, along with nine boxers and four wrestlers, got Tokyo Olympics quota.
Fifteen shooters and seven individual athletes too have made the cut for the Olympics.
“Since Olympics qualification events have resumed, the number of the athletes could increase,” said a wrestling coach.