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AFI demand punishment for tainted coaches

 NEW DELHI, May 15: The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla has welcomed the Sports Ministry’s plan to legislate an anti-doping law, saying that coaches who give prohibited drugs to their wards should be handed strong punishment.

“I have been advocating that (making an anti-doping law) for some time and now the government wants to make a legislation in that regard. It is a good move,” Sumariwalla said.

“Action should be taken against coaches, who give drugs to the athletes. Drugs being given to minors, action should be taken under the Juvenile Act, under the Distribution of Prohibited Substances Act. Action should be taken, otherwise they will never stop,” he told PTI in an interview.

The European athletics body had proposed deletion of world records prior to 2005 because of doping issues. But, Sumariwalla said, “There is no easy answer” and the matter will have to be dealt with caution.

“We have to study what it is, because it is not that it (doping) is not happening now. It is happening now also, it has now become more sophisticated. So what is wrong or what is right is very difficult to say, we have to study the subject more. We can’t say exactly what it is. We need research on the subject,” said the AFI president, who is also a member of the powerful IAAF Council.

“Earlier it (doping) was more crude, there was no ‘whereabouts’ (requirements under WADA). Now there is ‘whereabouts’ but people also have learnt how to cheat the ‘whereabouts’. So, we have to study the whole subject,” said the Olympian and former 100m runner.

He said the proposal from the European Athletics Association has not reached the IAAF Council. – PTI

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