New Delhi: The recent problems faced by Narsingh Yadav and Inderjeet Singh has brought the issue of doping back into the spotlight.
According to a report in the Times of India, 687 Indian athletes have been banned for doping-related offenses since January 1, 2009.
Shockingly, 176 athletes were banned by the National Anti Doping Agency in 2012. That number has steadily decreased thanks to stringent measures adopted by the agencies.
In 2016, 72 athletes were under the scanner for doping-related offenses. 56 out of those however carried over violations committed last year.
Track and field athletes (266) and weightlifters (169) are the key contributors to these numbers.
"Emphasis must be on smart testing of athletes and preparing their biological passports to keep track. The whereabouts clause should be strictly followed and emphasis should be given to out-of-competition tests. There's still a need to make the athletes aware of the evils of doping. Parents and coaches must be made aware of the menace. That can help in checking use of banned substances," former NADA chief Mukul Chatterjee told TOI.
Considering the fact India in 2014 was only behind Russia and Italy in the doping offenders' list, the government and authorities need to step in to prevent any more damage.