Sports ministry’s guidelines for dope tests

September 20th, 2008 - 1:20 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) The sports ministry Friday issued guidelines on fair and transparent dope testing methods to ensure a drug-free sports environment.The decision comes a week after the government accepted the recommendations of a committee appointed last month to investigate the controversial Monika Devi doping case that saw the lifter being dropped from the Indian contingent for the Beijing Olympics.

Monika was later cleared of all charges but this came too late for her to make it to Beijing.

The ministry has also informed all the stakeholders that it was very important for athletes to be tested before and during competitions. It was also necessary that athletes be given the due respect while they were being tested and that the procedures should be transparent and unbiased.

According to the new guidelines, a Doping Control Officer (DCO) will inform an athlete selected for a dope tests of his or her rights and responsibilities. The athlete will be asked to sign a form confirming that he or she has been informed about this. For a minor or a disabled athlete, a third party can also be notified.

Athletes will be also be given a choice of individually sealed collection vessels and they should verify that the equipment is intact and has not been tampered with. The athlete should keep the sample with him.

The athlete and a DCO of the same gender will be permitted in the washroom during the sample provision. Minors and athletes with a disability may also have their representative present. But the representative is not permitted to view the sample provision.

The DCO shall ask the specified laboratory, in full view of the athlete, whether the volume of the urine sample satisfies the requirements for analysis.

After verifying that the equipment is intact and has not been tampered with, the athlete will open the kit and confirm that the sample code numbers on the bottles, the lids, and the container all match.

The sample will be divided into bottles A and B.

Athletes will provide information on the doping control form about any prescription or non-prescription medication or supplements they have taken recently. Athlete also have the right to note comments on the form regarding the conduct of the doping control session.

The athlete should confirm that all the information is correct, including the sample code number - and should receive a copy of the doping control form.

During analysis, when the A sample is being tested, the B sample should be securely stored and may be used to confirm any Adverse Analytical Findings from the A sample. The report should be sent to Sports Authority of India (SAI) within 24 hours of analysis.

The SAI will study whether the results are negative or positive and will inform the respective sports federation. The federations will then inform the concerned athlete within 48 hours.

If the result is negative, the federation will impose a provisional suspension on the athlete, who must be given a provisional hearing prior to the imposition of the final suspension, the guidelines say.

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