Champions of dope….errrr….sport

CHANDIGARH: Instead of number of games played or performance of players, the most interesting statistic in the ongoing kabbadi world cup is of the number of players of each team who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. “Australia 7, USA 3, Canada 5, UK 3, Norway 2, Italy 1, Argentina 1, Spain 1, Germany 1, India 1”,  is the latest tally  of players tested positive in the world cup, organized by Punjab sports department. 

Two more players found positive on Friday took team Australia’s count to 7 and now Australia does not have enough players to take to the field in the upcoming matches as each team must have 14 players. Second on the list is Canada  with five players, followed by USA and UK with three each.

Only 96 samples have been tested so far and the number of players taking drugs is expected to rise as tests continue. Out of the 25 positive cases no one has asked for the ‘B’sample testing, often used by athelets to prove their innocence in such cases.

National Anti-doping Agency (NADA), who has been conducting the tests, has decided to increase the number of random sampling after the matches. “It is bringing a very bad name to the sport and the country as well. Seeing the increasing number of positive cases we have decided to increase the number of random sampling so that dope-tainted players are weeded out as soon as possible,” said NADA director general Rahul Bhatnagar.  The samples with prohibited substances were taken during selection trials ahead of the second kabbadi World Cup tournament to be held in Punjab. 

Kabbadi involves two seven-member teams and the teams take turns to enter the opposing team’s half of a pitch to wrestle or tag opponents before returning back to his side. But while “tagging” the opponents the team representative has to hold his breath and chant “kabbadi kabbadi”.

The organizing committee, the technical committee and jury of appeals are meeting at Mukatsar to find a solution to the menace. “The tournament’s reputation is at stake. We are meeting tomorrow to find a solution,” Punjab sports director Pargat Singh said on Wednesday.

Rahul Bhatnagar, NADA director general added, “It is not possible to test every player otherwise NADA would have gone for that, he added…With so many players caught in doping net it will be set a good precedent for next year. But at the same time it is leaves many questions unanswered on the fair play in the tournament.”(Eom)

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