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AFI announces equal penalties for Coaches and Athletes for failed dope tests

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has announced equal penalties for coaches and athletes for failed dope tests to enforce accountability and promote clean sports.


Representative Photograph


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 May 2024 3:49 PM GMT

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) announced on Friday that it will impose equal penalties on both coaches and athletes in the event of a failed dope test. This initiative is designed to hold coaches accountable and foster a culture of clean sports.

AFI President Adille Sumariwalla emphasized the necessity of this policy, stating, "It's high time perpetrators are called out, named, and shamed." During a media interaction following the AFI's Executive Council meeting, Sumariwalla explained, "If an athlete is found doping and is given a sentence, their coach will receive a similar sentence from the AFI. The coach will be as responsible because this whole issue of doping has gone beyond control."

To ensure accountability, all coaches, including NIS diploma holders, must register with the AFI. Athletes will be required to declare their coach's name when filling out dope control forms, allowing for clear identification and accountability. Sumariwalla pointed out that this measure will also prevent multiple coaches from claiming rewards when an athlete succeeds, stating, "There can't be only carrot there; there has to be a stick for them also."

After six months of discussions with various agencies, this policy reflects the AFI's commitment to clean sports. Coaches found guilty of doping offenses will face bans from entering stadiums, accompanying teams, and will be reported to military and governmental bodies for further suspension from their positions.

In addition to this policy, the AFI is advancing its efforts against fraudulent activities by digitizing all certificates of merit through the Ministry of Electronics & IT's DigiLocker initiative. This move aims to curb the issues of forged certificates and provide a reliable verification method for the government.

Furthermore, the AFI has warned that technical officials will also face consequences for failing in their respective duties, ensuring accountability at all levels of competition.

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