Many Indian athletes have been banned after being tested positive for doping in past. And the latest to join the club is Indian goalkeeper Subrata Paul.
More than 650 Indian athletes have been banned for doping-related offences in the last seven years. Sports minister Vijay Goel wants to make doping a criminal offence, meaning that the violators could be facing jail in future.
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The sports ministry is mulling to introduce stringent measures to put a detterant punishment in place. Goel fears doping could trickle down to the grass-root level unless the government instals proper checks and balances.
"We are deliberating if athletes can be sent to jail by introducing a new legislation which will make doping a criminal offence. I fear that the menace will spread to Universities and school competitions. Earlier, it was limited to only the national level," Press Trust of India quoted Goel as saying.
Goel also wants doctors involved to be held accountable.
"And not only athletes but coaches, trainers, doctors whoever is involved will be sent to jail. An immediate arrest could be made. Sometimes, the athletes unknowingly take banned substances. Due to the mistakes of their coaches, the athletes pay a price but the coach goes scot-free. Everyone who aides in doping will be brought into the law net," Goel said.
"We are discussing it with all, be it law ministry or other stake-holders. We will see if it can be made a criminal offence. Also WADA needs to do its bit by empaneling few companies, whose drugs can be safely be used by athletes."