© Copyright – 2023 – Athletics Illustrated
When doping control officers (DCO) showed up at a track meet, many of the athletes fled including all but one 100-metre sprinter. Amy Poehler couldn’t have written a more absurd sketch for Saturday Night Live.
Delhi State Athletics Championship Tuesday, September 26 turned into a comedy scene when officials from India’s anti-doping agency (NADA) arrived at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
According to several publications, images showed a stadium change room that was littered with syringes and packets of performance-enhancing drug Erythropoietin (EPO). As news of their unannounced visit spread, approximately half of the competitors pulled out so they could avoid being tested.
“I was really looking forward to running against the best athletes, but nobody turned up,” Lalit Kumar, the lone sprinter left in the blocks. “Everyone was scared of getting tested. As an athlete, I feel very hurt and let down.”
Apparently, a junior female athlete finished her race and then just kept on running to avoid being tested, however, was chased down by a dco.
India is a country where doping is very present. However, the nation is not one of the six on the Category A watch list by the World Anti-doping Agency. The six are: Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Ukraine.
There was a total of 1206 out-of-competition tests conducted at the domestic level (not including Athletics Integrity Unit tests) since January 1, 2022 by the relevant six Category A countries as follows, according to World Athletics.
Bahrain (32), Ethiopia (241), Kenya (378), Morocco (267), Nigeria (157 vs 26 in 2021), Ukraine (131).
Perhaps India will become the seventh.