New Delhi: Rajya Sabha on Wednesday took up a bill that seeks to provide an independent mechanism for anti-doping adjudication and legal sanctity to anti-doping agencies.
The National Anti-Doping Bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha last week, seeks to provide a statutory framework in the form of legislation for the prohibition of doping in sports in the country.
Introducing the bill for discussion and passage in the Upper House, Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur said it intends to accomplish building institutional capabilities in anti-doping, enable the hosting of major sporting events, protect rights of all sportspersons, ensure time-bound justice to athletes and enhance cooperation among agencies in fighting doping in sports.
Thakur said the proposed legislation reinforces India’s commitment to the international obligation for clean sports and seeks to provide an independent mechanism for anti-doping adjudication.
It aims at providing legal sanctity to anti-doping agencies (NADA and NDTL-National Dope Testing Laboratory), establishing more dope testing labs, and creating opportunities for jobs and academic research.
The minister said the proposed legislation will benefit sportspersons and hoped for a positive discussion on the Bill in the House.
Supporting the Bill, Deepender Singh Hooda of the Congress termed it a “positive step” for Indian sportspersons. He suggested that a bench of arbitration be constituted in India so that our players do not need to travel to Switzerland to appeal.
Santanu Sen of the Trinamool Congress said penalties on athletes should be proportional to the offence and also backed Hooda’s suggestion that an international arbitration unit be set up in Asia.