New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) A day after former India football captain Subroto Paul tested positive for a banned substance, Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Wednesday called for adopting a policy of "zero tolerance" towards doping.
The minister has directed the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) and other sports bodies to sensitise the players at the grassroots level about the ill-effects of doping through regular seminars and information campaigns in schools and colleges.
"Vijay Goel has taken serious note of the incidence of doping in the country and has directed National Anti Doping Agency (NADA), Indian Olympic Association, National Sports Federations and Sports Authority of India (SAI) to adopt a policy of 'zero tolerance' towards doping," a statement from the ministry read.
"The Minister has asked NADA to organise a seminar with all stakeholders on Thursday to discuss the issue threadbare and finalise an effective strategy to deal with the menace, including the possibility of making doping a criminal offence."
The 63-year-old minister also said that the government is mulling a mechanism to test food supplements for the athletes, besides adopting a scientific approach to it.
"He has also directed the NADA to sensitise the players at grassroots level about the ill-effects of doping through regular seminars and information campaigns at schools and colleges."
"Goel added that the government is contemplating to set up a mechanism to test food supplements, so that athletes can be sure that the food supplements they are using, are free of prohibited substances. He also emphasised on a scientific approach to diet and nutrition for athletes," the statement added.
Subrata failed a dope test conducted by the NADA in Mumbai when the Indian men's football team was going to Cambodia for a friendly match in February.
The goalkeeper will now go for the confirmatory 'B' sample test.