Many Indian athletes have been caught using performance-enhancing drugs. In August this year, discus thrower Neelam Singh tested positive for taking a stimulant in the 10th World Athletics Championships in Helsinki. Singh was provisionally suspended for two years by the the Athletic Federation of India (AFI). However, a panel is investigating the incident and is expected to give its findings shortly.

In last year’s Athens Olympics, two women weightlifters, sanamacha chanu and Pratima Kumari, tested positive. Earlier that year, yet another weightlifter, S.Sunaina, had tested positive at the Asian Championshps held in Kazakhustan.

However, some athletes have been wrongly accused. After winning a gold and a silver at the 2002 Busan Asian Games, runner Sunita Razni tested positive for a banned substance. And She was stripped of her medals. But after the AFI pointed out several procedural flaws and irregularities in the testing of urine samples at Busan, the International Association of Athletic Federations exonerated Rani and returned her medals.

Doping is especially prevalent in India in powerlifting, weightlifting, athletics, and boxing. Of the 250-odd banned substances, those most commonly used here are anabolic steroids such as nandrolone and testosterone, stimulants such as mephentermine and diuretics such as furosemide.

The laboratory of the Indian Dope Control Centre (IDCC) in New Delhi can check for banned drugs, but the World Anit-doping Agency feels IDCC doesn’t yet meet its straingent standards. However, the government has upgraded the laboratory and there’s good chance that it will receive WADA accreditation in the near future.


Leaving a sleepy part of Scotland to join the London police was a big step for my nephew. I was curious to know how he would cope with the tough London streets and strict police discipline.

“I don’t suppose you’ll be able to turn up late for work, no,’’ I told him.

 “Anyone who is has to buy cream cakes for everyone at the stations tea break.’’

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