Agra: In a first, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Friday decided to suspend the secretary of a state association if more than two athletes of that unit are found to be over-aged in a national event.
The decision to fix responsibility of the age-fudging menace, which has afflicted athletics for so many years, to the top office bearer of a state was taken at the AFI's Annual General Body Meeting here.
Earlier, the state team concerned and the offending athletes were banned from national competitions for two years when over-aged athletes were fielded by the unit, but age fudging has not stopped or decreased over the years.
"In a year, if more than two athletes are found over-aged in a national event, then the secretary of that state association will be suspended for one year," AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said during the AGM.
AFI Planning Commission Chairman Lalit Bhanot said the constitution of the national federation will be amended to this effect.
The AFI also included the various ways to be followed by the state associations on how to deal with the menace, including the protocols like the specifics of the radilology test and procedure of the age verification, in a manual released during the meeting.
Last year, a total of 115 athletes were found to be over-aged in National Youth and Junior Championships combined. Uttar Pradesh was the worst offender with more than 30 over-aged athletes during last year.
Bhanot said that the process to issue a Unique Identifiaction Number with biometrics to all the athletes registered with the AFI has already started.
The AGM also discussed the issue of doping, another menace which has been afflicting athletics, which AFI President Sumariwalla described as an issue which needs to be tackled with stringent measures.
"The AFI has a zero tolerance against doping and we have been the first NSF to advocate doping being made a criminal offence. As an IAAF Council Member, I know the issue of the Russian federation being banned due to large scale doping. If doping in India also continues like this, the country may also be banned in future," he said.
"But it should be made clear that the large (doping) numbers are mainly due to doping at district and state levels and at the departmental events. Dope tests at the national camps are very strict and there are very few dope positive cases among the campers," he said.
In another decision, Chhattisgarh was suspended for six months for poor organisation of National Youth Championships last year and an ad hoc committee was formed.
Updated Date: Jul 19, 2019 20:09:15 IST