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'Federation should follow No-Needle policy for National camps', says Santiago Nieva

Federation should follow No-Needle policy for National camps, says Santiago Nieva

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Published: 18 April 2018 5:45 AM GMT
One of the earliest memories that we have of the 2018 Commonwealth Games is that of the humiliation that Indian athletes had to go through even before the Games began after wrongly disposed syringes were found close to the accommodation of the Indian boxing contingent in a disregard of the no-needle policy. The officials of the Indian Olympic Association were hauled and singled out before the rest of the boxing contingent was also given an equally strong warning asking them to comply with the standards set in place for Anti-Doping at the Gold Coast Games. A couple of months before the Games commenced in Australia, the Commonwealth Games Federation had put out several statements saying that a stricter imposition of anti-doping policies would be in order at the tournament. Now, upon returning to the country, Indian Boxing's High Performance Director Santiago Nieva had quite a lot to say regarding the slight leniency that doping is dealt with back in India. When the entire fiasco with the "No Needle policy" took place in Gold Coast, it turned out to be all for nothing as the doctor accompanying the team, a certain Amol Patil, was found to be administering vitamins to a boxer who was reportedly feeling unwell. Speaking at a feliciation ceremony organised by the Boxing Federation of India, Nieva commented on how this "no needle policy" should have a place of importance at Indian national camps too which might prevent athletes from taking the issue of doping so lightly in the future. 'Will strongly recommend the federation to follow the policy so that all the coaching staff and players are aware,' he was quoted as saying by the
Hindustan Times
as a comment made on the sidelines of the aforementioned ceremony. From BFI's end, however, an official confirmed that this would be a closed chapter for the Federation who were not planning on pursuing the matter any further. Also read: Are athletes in Gold Coast aware of the 'No needle policy'? It is worth remembering that this isn't the only needle related policy that Indian athletes were involved in. In further embarrassment, two athletes were sent home after syringes were found in the luggage of triple jumper Rakesh Babu. He was barred from competing in the final leg of his event after being sent home in disgrace. Whether or not this suggestion by Nieva will be heeded remains to be seen.
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