Every athlete must undergo a doping test, decides POA

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has decided to carry out doping tests on all athletes leaving for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and invite them to a lecture during the three-day seminar to be held from 19 to April 21.

‘The News’ story of seven out of thirteen positive tests carried out on kabaddi players has rocked sporting circles in Pakistan, with the POA deciding to go even further to ensure the country’s athletes remain clean and fair in their approach.

“We decided to carry out tests for each competitor who would qualify for the Commonwealth Games to ensure that the athletes of the country remain clean and that their approach is completely fair. All Commonwealth Games-related athletes would be invited to attend a seminar aimed at instilling the true meaning of modern anti-doping requirements. This is very serious business. The sporting image of the country could be jeopardized by repeated positive cases. The POA would address all of these violated WADA rules and even provide for increasingly harsh measures to ensure that all international athletes follow the required procedure to ensure they are clean and clear.

On April 19, athletes/sports personnel from athletics, hockey and judo will be invited for a conference, followed by women’s cricket, squash and table tennis on April 20, then on April 21 boxing, gymnastics , swimming, weightlifting, wrestling and Paralympic athletes.

When asked who will bear the heavy expenses of testing from international labs, the official said each federation would be asked to meet the expenses with POA always there to accommodate them in the process.

“After a series of positive tests recently, it has become all the more important to be even stricter. The POA has always advocated a tougher stance and that has been our main stress in meetings with federation officials. We have already formed an investigative committee to investigate kabaddi affairs. Although the kabaddi federation is not a signatory to the WADA rules, no one would be allowed to break the rules. We believe in free and fair sports and c “That’s what the IOC has always advocated. Any athletes who violated WADA rules would be subject to strict measures,” he said.

The official envisioned that the April 19-21 seminar specifically for athletes at the Birmingham Games would be the final warning to all athletes of the serious consequences of breaking WADA rules. Those representing the green flag at the Games would need to be clean as well as competitive.

In the past, athletes in such large numbers never went through the testing process. “Now we have decided that all Commonwealth Games athletes should go through the process just to ensure they are clean before competition.” Dr. Asad Abbas, secretary of the CGA Medical Commission, will conduct the course.

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