After Indian athletes were caught with positive doping tests during the time of the Olympics, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has made the decision to set up a helpline for domestic cricketers.
While other sporting bodies in India have not set up helplines, the BCCI wants to ensure that its cricketers are aware of the effects of supplements and medicines they may be taking. Doping has not become an issue in cricket, however, the BCCI wants to make sure that younger players do not begin the downward spiral of sports doping.
A BCCI source noted: “A lot of people don’t know about it but all our registered cricketers from U-16 to first-class level have access to the anti-doping helpline. It is a part of the BCCI initiative to create more awareness at the domestic level.”
Anti-Doping Awareness for Other Sports
Unfortunately, in other Indian sports, doping appears to be on the rise. Performance-enhancing drugs may help players to do better, but once they have failed the dope test, they are out of the running.
In October this year, there were 68 doping violations recorded. In November, the number had increased substantially, reaching more than 90 cases of positive dope testing. Twenty of these cases were women athletes. There is concern that the numbers are rising. The reason for the increase in numbers may be linked to the easy availability of performance-enhancing drugs.
The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) is currently updating its anti-doping measures. It is hoped that by running awareness sessions regarding doping in sports, that athletes and those who support and train them will discourage the use of drugs to improve performance.
Naveen Aggarwal, the Director General of NADA, said: “It’s alluring for youngsters who want quick success. There are awareness programmes to check the menace of doping. We hope the figure doesn’t touch 100.”