Pullela Gopichand suggests setting up a 24x7 helpline for athletes to avoid doping in sports

Gopichand came up with the suggestion during the sixth meeting of the All India Council of Sports (AICS) chaired by Vijay Kumar Malhotra.

PTI July 23, 2017 17:26:21 IST
Pullela Gopichand suggests setting up a 24x7 helpline for athletes to avoid doping in sports

New Delhi: Concerned about the rise in doping violations, chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Sunday suggested setting up of a 24x7 medical helpline to ensure that sportspersons don't use over-the-counter drugs.

The former All England champion came up with the suggestion during the sixth meeting of the All India Council of Sports (AICS) chaired by Vijay Kumar Malhotra.

Pullela Gopichand suggests setting up a 24x7 helpline for athletes to avoid doping in sports

File photo of Pullela Gopichand. AFP

"Shri Gopichand mentioned that most of the sportspersons take off the counter medicines like Corex and get caught for doping. In the recent case of women athlete also, it is doubted that she took medicine for stomach upset and got caught for doping," the AICS said in a statement.

"Shri Gopichand suggested that National Anti Doping Agency should create a 24x7 helpline so as to enable sportspersons to seek advice before taking any medicine."

Sprint queen PT Usha pointed out that only two officials are deployed for a large numbers of sportspersons.

"During this time, there are chances of inter-changing the doping samples."

Sports Authority of India's director general Injeti Srinivas said it would be better if each federation appoints an expert director for each discipline, one who should be available to give advice to their respective sportspersons.

The SAI DG also mentioned that as a precautionary measure, the officers are regularly changed to avoid any vested interested.

Malhotra expressed his anguish over the rampant cases of doping and the recent media coverage "tarnishing the image of not only sports but also the image of the country".

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