Huge Steroid Scandal and Cover Up in India Exposed by Marathon Runner
By Millard Baker ~ source
A former marathon champion is fighting to expose the names of athletes who have tested positive for anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs over the past two decades in India. Sunita Godara had accused India’s government of engaging in a “systematically designed state-sponsored illegitimate doping control exercise” in which positive steroid test results were covered up by sports officials since 1991.
Godara filed a “civil writ petition” in 1998 that was converted to “public interest litigation” (PIL) in 2001. She accused the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the Indian Sports Ministry and the Indian Olympic Association of participating in a “conspiracy of silence”.
The Sports Authority of India had submitted two lists of steroid offenders. An affidavit submitted to the Delhi High Court by SAI in 2001 contained the names of 257 athletes who had tested positive for anabolic steroids and/or performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) between 1991 and 2001. Another affidavit submitted in 2009 contained the names of 301 additional athletes testing positive between 2001 and 2008.
A displinary anti-doping panel for the Indian National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has released the second list of names to Godara. However, Godara has not received the 1991 to 2001 list which purportedly contains the names of several famous athletes.
Approximately 120 of the athletes who failed the anti-doping tests have never faced any disciplinary action. Godara wants their names exposed. She claims she doesn’t want to punish the athletes but only highlight the role the government played in the doping scandal.
“I would only exhort the athletes to come clean. There is no point punishing these athletes now as they have retired,” said Godara. “I would want the federations to be taken to task, instead. I would ask the athletes to help in identifying the culprits in the federation so that action can be taken.”
Godara has asked the Delhi High Court to make public the entire list of doping offenders which was previously withheld by the Sports Ministry and the Indian Olympic Association.
While it seems to be a popular pasttime to expose athletes who may have used steroids one, two or three decades ago, it seems unlikely that releasing the list of names will have much impact on the current doping landscape.
Most of the positive steroid tests were reported by the Sports Authority of India were analyzed by non-accredited laboratories.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) requires that requires that anti-doping test be processed by a WADA-accredited laboratory. Furthermore, WADA’s statute of limitations does not allow athletes to be disciplined after eight years.
Press Trust of India. (November 18, 2011). NADA doping list shows athletes not penalised. Retrieved from NADA doping list shows athletes not penalised - Sports - Other Sports - ibnlive