Anti-doping hearings to be conducted online due to lockdown says NADA DG

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    The National Anti Doping Agency’s Director-General, Navin Agarwal has said that the apex body will complete it’s hearings online from Friday to confirm cases don’t stack up due to the national lockdown.

    “That’s right, we will be starting with our online hearings from May 8. Both Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) and Anti-Doping Appeals Panel (ADAP) hearings will be conducted for the cases which are pending,” Agarwal told PTI in an interview.

    “Last year, they (ADDP and ADAP) did a remarkable job and disposed of so many cases which haven’t happened earlier in the history of NADA. Our panels disposed of 180 cases which are a record for the agency,” he added.

    After listing inconsistent and unreachable internet services, Agarwal told athletes to join in via audio calls by which things can be arranged easily.
    “We understand that the athlete needs to have the (internet) facility at his home for the hearings. I know there are limitations. We are working on that and made arrangements at our level”, he said.

    “It will only be done on the availability of an athlete through either audio or video. I know in rural areas, internet bandwidth can be an issue or network, we are game with even an audio recording or a conference call,” he explained.

    NADA had earlier admitted that testing has become difficult because of the lockdown.

    “We are requesting the ministry as the campuses in NIS Patiala and Spots Authority of India (SAI) Bengaluru are closed and have barred entry or exit of any outsiders as per government guidelines. So we are taking this up with ministry and would like to know whether our Dope Control Officers (DCOs) will be allowed inside the campuses for testing subject to all clearances,” Agarwal said.

    Agarwal further added about another factor of the task in the health of DCOs.

    “..we have to ensure that DCOs should not have any COVID-19 symptoms and (they must not have) come in contact with patients in the last 14 days,” he said.

    “That is something that the management of the concerned training centres will be doing. Temperature checks of anyone who is entering from outside the campuses should not be a problem. Our DCOs have already been advised to follow social distancing norms, maintain a distance of 2 metres from the athlete and use masks and gloves and sanitisers,” he added.

    Agarwal said the testing can start again once the national camps resume which is restarted by the end of this month.

    Among all the other development, Agarwal said NADA is also launching an app to educate athletes on the threats of a doping violation.

    “.we will soon be launching the NADA app, through which anti-doping awareness would be available. We will be also generating certificates for athletes, coaches, parents, who successfully complete the course along with answering the questionnaire,” he concluded.

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