AFI president Adille Sumariwalla expresses helplessness over doping menace in India
AFI received flak from World Athletics after the Delhi State Athletics Championships brought international shame to India as athletes ran away from their events in September when NADA officials dropped in, suspecting doping violations.
Adille Sumariwalla says he is powerless as the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) under his helm has received flak from World Athletics for failing to control the doping hazard in India.
Recently, the Delhi State Athletics Championships brought international shame to India after athletes ran away from their events in September as National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) officials dropped in.
The NADA officials suspected possible doping abuses at the event after a video went viral showing several used syringes in the washroom.
Following the bad press that India received over the bizarre incident, AFI launched an internal investigation, and World Athletics, whose officials were in India during the 141st Congress of the IOC Executive Board in Mumbai, is still waiting for the report.
“I’m getting flak from World Athletics, from AIU (Athletics Integrity Unit), from WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency)," Sumariwalla was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
'What can I do?'
The September incident at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium sports complex stunned the world, with only one athlete running the men's 100m event, while his competitors made the final a miss. In another event, a women's athlete did not stop running even after crossing the finish line as a doping official chased her down.
The AFI president expressed his helplessness in preventing doping in the country.
"What can I do, I’m not the police. I can’t arrest them, I don’t have any powers to do any of that. My only power is reporting," he lamented.
Sumariwalla, who is also the vice president of World Athletics, also said the media is 'making too much out of it'.
“I think everyone is making too much out of it. There is an issue, yes. Is it a big issue? Very big issue. But by keeping on making a big issue out of it, going to international media and seeing which will get India banned is not what we are looking at,” he said.
“Now we have an enquiry commission, set up by the chairman of the disciplinary committee, which will look into it. NADA is also looking into it,” Sumariwalla added.