Jail coaches who help athletes dope: AFI president

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Kolkata, Sep 18 (IANS) Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla on Friday blasted Indian coaches who help athletes dope, saying he wants them to be jailed.

“I want more people to get caught in dope tests. Before I came, we used to do 100 tests per year. Now we are doing around 1,000 tests every year. I am sending National Anti Doping Agencies (NADA) officials wherever possible, in inter-states, inter-railways meet. We are trying to eradicate it at different levels,” he said.

“For me it is mandatory for state meets to inform NADA. I’m trying to go to the lowest level. I’m very happy that people are getting caught because other people will then learn a lesson,” Sumariwalla told reporters here.

“People are hiding in Patiala and training on their own so that they do not have to come to the national camp. It is the youth who are getting caught, it is the coaches who are giving them all these, we need to kill the root of it.”

“So I have suggested to sports secretary, government of India, that you must bring these coaches under the Juvenile Act and under Giving Forbidden Substances to Minors Act and jail them. You jail two coaches and all these will stop,” he added.

“I was called by the head of the world federation’s dope control a few days back. Once I explained everything to him he was happy. We have increased to 1,000 and next year we will make it 1,500.”

On Wednesday, female runner Tintu Luka said that she wants to compete abroad. Tintu had set a national record in the women’s 800m at the 2015 National Games in Kerala earlier this year, clocking 2:01.86 seconds to win gold.

She produced her season’s best effort of 2:00.95 seconds at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing recently, which was enough to secure a Rio Olympics berth.

But Sumariwalla said,”We sent Tintu Luka’s entry to four international meets in the space of the last six months. Did she go? She hasn’t spoken to me about it. Everything was arranged for, still she did not want to compete. She might be talking about the future, not the past.”

Even shot putter Inderjeet Singh had said he would want to go to America to train. Speaking on him, Sumariwalla said, “I don’t know what he is saying, he had competed in all events in the last few years.”

The AFI president also stressed on the fact that athletics was suffering in India because of the “lack of funds”.

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